Apocalypse (AU,CC,MATURE) COMPLETE - 9/5/14

Finished stories set in an alternate universe to that introduced in the show, or which alter events from the show significantly, but which include the Roswell characters. Aliens play a role in these fics. All complete stories on the main AU with Aliens board will eventually be moved here.

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ken_r
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Re: Apocalypse, CC, mature, ch 19, pg12 Apr 13, 2014

Postby ken_r » Mon Apr 21, 2014 1:55 pm

saori_1902:

roswelllostcause:

begonia9508:

keepsmiling7: Maria will always have questions about her position as a slave, even as she,herself, becomes an overseer.

Chapter 20

Kyle separated the troops into three groups. At first, there was some growling about the five women alone in one group. “Listen Clancy, unless you are one of those pretty boys who look good in a skirt, you will keep your frapping mouth shut. All troops will train equally, but some troops will train a bit more equally than others,” Kyle yelled.

For weeks they did train together along with two other strangers who were also from Earth. In barracks gossip, it was noted that the strangers did not wear bracelets.

Soon in the evenings as the red son was setting, the five women led by the earth woman, Liz, started running along the trails in the compound. The different trails were given coded names and they trained later and later until much of their runs were in darkness. The compound was divided into the hill country in front of the main house and the larger wooded area in the back. Another five troopers started making runs under the Earthman Alex.

“What’s with these people? It is reported that this Liz is in bed with the king,” Clare stated.

“Yeah, and they say that Alex puts it to the sister of the king. Neither of them are ordinary honchos from Earth. What’s with them wasting their time with the likes of us?” Jay added.

“Hey, I asked Kyle what his rank was and he said it was just Kyle. This Liz and Alex are the same. No sergeant, no captain, no nuttening,” Jorge added.

“You get a look at that dame all dressed in gold the other day?”

“Kyle told me to poke my eyes back in or I might loose them.”

“Awh, you’re all horny from the long trip and not getting any for so long,” another of the female troops called out.

“Yeah, you can help me out some night, Lucy.”

“Hey, it will be some time before I am that desperate,” was called back.

“Listen up, you ground monkeys, Kyle says in three days it is civilian dress and we all go to a house of pleasure,” A trooper read from a poster he had just been handed.

The big night finally arrived. Both men and women were dressed in tee shirts and cargo pants. “You guys, no getting into fights with the locals. The locals will clean your plow with magic you can’t imagine. They don’t use alcohol here, so I got the chef at the main house to whip up a tub of Kool-Aid. Don’t let any of locals get to it; drunk, they will burn the town down, but I think you will find it to your tastes if any of you claim to have tastes,” Kyle ordered.

When they arrived at the house of pleasure, the troops disembarked from the transport and formed up. “You monkeys got one day. This time tomorrow evening we line up for our return. Go outside this fence and the time in detention will feel like vacation compared to what I will do to you. There are a bunch of guys in dark blue uniforms. You all treat them with respect because you are going to be fighting side by side each other come soon,” Kyle ordered.

One night of total debauchery, there were fights there were many trips to the back rooms for both the men and the women. The Kool-Aid ran out about noon the next day. The ten men from the Antarian military quietly went among Kyle’s troops. They could fight with each other, but no taunting any of the locals. Misbehave and you quietly went to sleep. Not for long, but who wanted to loose even an hour of leave time. Bruises, headaches and hangovers were all felt as the troops filed home. There was no reveille the next morning, fall out time was at dusk the next evening.

The training was light. Mainly, they were treated to the ten Antarian troopers giving demonstrations of bottle busting and bush burning. It was dark when the demonstration was over. The Antarians were divided into two groups one sent to Alex and the other to Liz. Alex tossed a coin, heads they got the hills and tails, they got the woods. Alex got the hills so under the starlight they jogged both the human and Antarian soldiers down the dark trails.

Liz called out the code for one of the wooded trails and they commenced to run in the almost total darkness with the Antarians keeping up with the humans and Liz leading to the back fence and back to the main house. Here, the Antarians were dismissed to their quarters, so far a closed up room off the barracks of the Earthmen.

That evening in the Earth barracks, “Hey, did you see those guys? Flame a bush at a hundred yards. What do they need us for?”

“I heard some yahoo on the other side has a gizmo which freezes the magicians. The gizmo don’t work on Earth people. Kyle says that he already took two of them out by smashing the gizmo. Heard that Alex fellow did almost the same.”

“What’s this Liz woman do? She ain’t military, that’s for sure.”

“You see her running those paths, she has memorized every turn. I bet she could run any path blindfolded.”

“She works out in the hand-to-hand combat training. She ain’t got much weight, but she can throw blows with the best.”

-------------------

It was several weeks into training when one of the Earthmen broke his leg. It was a compound fracture the bone sticking out and blood everywhere. Kyle quickly took a communicator and called the main house. “Hey, Izzy, we need an angel of mercy out here on trail 547. Man with a compound fracture and loosing a lot of blood.”

The Earthmen had never seen her, but to the Antarians, she was well known. The whisper quickly made the rounds of the troops, “That’s the king’s sister.”

The cold Isabel knelt beside the soldier and seen only by him, the cold visage softened into that of an angel. There was a kindness that developed in her eyes as she said, “You are loosing a lot of blood, soldier. Look me in the eye. I need to see into your soul.”

Isabel pointed to two soldiers one human and the other Antarian. “Hold his shoulders tightly and you, pull his leg out straight.” Isabel leaned close to the fallen man’s face. All he could see was those ruby lips and the smell her minted breath. Her lips only millimeters from the patient, she murmured, “Hold tight soldier, the pain is but a moment, then, you will be well.”

The one man holding the patient and the other carefully pulled on his leg. The bone popped back into place with only a bit of a scream. Isabel’s face was still close to the patient as the troops saw the wound cease bleeding and the skin begin to heal. “Give him a half hour and take him back to the barracks. Kyle, give him light duty for a day or so and figure out what he did to break his leg.” With that, Isabel stood up and started back to the main house.

One of the Earthmen reached out to Kyle and said, “Hey man, that just don’t happen. That bone was sticking out and probably full of germs. No man gets over something like that in a half hour. What does that witchery woman mean give him light duty? He should be in bed for months.”

“You call her a witchery woman around Alex and he might show you what a trained geek can do. That was the king’s sister and the only better healer is the king himself. You think the likes of you deserves the king’s time. The woman I bed can do almost as well. These people got some strange powers. They have some strange weaknesses, also, and that is what they have us for.”

For administration purposes, Kyle labeled Liz’s team one, Alex’s team two and his larger team three. It was soon seen that Team three, was joined by the ten Antarians who had been working out with Liz and Alex.

----------------------

Liz and Max were waiting for a delegation from a planet in the middle of the monarchy. Max had no idea what they wanted; he knew that this planet was a bit backward and its culture quite primitive. The importance to the monarchy of this planet was that it was the only source of a crystalized metal. The importance of this crystal to the electronics of the monarchy was paramount.

The people of Krout’s planet were under a loose monarchy themselves. This monarchy in no way challenged the Antarian monarchy as the one proposed on Antar Four had intended. Max knew that the people of this planet had very old, but strong traditions. Max had no idea of what to expect.

Four men approached Max’s office. He and Liz stood up to receive them. The men were all dressed in business suits as was common on Antar. There was a young girl in their midst. She was dressed in white robes and wearing several necklaces and rings. She wore a filmy veil across her face. Liz could tell that she must be very young.

There were many niceties to get out of the way. The monarch was named King Theo. He was careful to not put his position above that of the king of Antar. Liz noticed that Max introduced her as his assistant and the woman with whom he shared his bed. Back on Earth, Liz thought, this might be a bit of affront. Here it was just announcing the king’s position and his assistant’s position of power. The men slightly bowed in acknowledgment. “We understand your position and in no way are we trying to change your situation, but we want to present our daughter as a pledge for you to grant our supplication. Please take her and do with her as you please,” one of the men requested.

To Liz’s surprise, Max nodded and said, “We thank you. Please present your request.”

“We are aware that Planets on the rim have been devastated for cooperation with space pirates. We want to assure you that we are not cooperating with them in any way. There is a small colony on the far side of our planet. We ask that it be removed with as little damage to the rest of the planet as possible,” the leader requested.


As would any diplomatic leader, Max assured the leaders of Krout’s Planet that he would look into it. After they left, Liz and Max were talking. “Max, he sounded desperate. Offering his daughter as payment for something that you probably would do anyway.” Liz said.

“Liz, that is true, but he wanted assurance that his people didn’t get into the trouble that happened on the rim. Out on the rim, the whole planet had become corrupted with greed. I decided that the entire planet had to be scrubbed. These ministers were educated, but they still hold on to many traditions and those traditions say that if a cancer develops in the culture, the culture must be destroyed. Their education was telling them to say that the cancer is very localized and if we act soon, the rest of the planet can be saved. The offering of their daughter was to stress this importance. Of course, it is to our advantage to rid any stronghold that the pirates attempt to secure ” Max stated.

“Yes, Max, I see, but what are you going to do with the girl?” Liz asked.

“If I hadn’t stated that you were already in my bed, there might have been some expectation that I would take her. Now, she will add to our growing family. I will leave her to you and Isabel. This proposal is what Kyle has been training for. Michael, Kyle and I will be in conference tonight,” Max stated.

The girl’s name turned out to be Lila. “Why would a man give up his daughter?” was Liz’s first question.

Max gave a half way smile or, maybe, it was a grimace, “Are you sure she is his daughter? On some worlds with some languages, the word daughter can be any young woman under his care. The old fraud may have purchased her somewhere and is using her as a token of his allegiance. I don’t mean to demean the value of using a life as a pledge of fealty, but remember, Tess was conceived, raised and trained to offset a debt owed by an important family. Even Tess doesn’t know all of her background. She would never have been sent to a house of pleasure. She was targeted to Isabel from her first breath. Her price as a slave wouldn’t have put a dent in their debt. My family holding her papers, assured them that we would in some way assist them in their debt.”

“Max, so many things seemed to be calculated from long times ago. What about Maria, was she destined to be sent to Antar as a slave?” Liz asked.

“Now you are thinking conspiracy theory. Everything that happens, isn’t the result of momentous designs. No, Maria arrived here just by chance. Since you also were already here and she seems to fit so well with Michael, you might say it was a fortuitous chance,” Max answered.

“What about me? Once you mentioned that I was being watched most of my life. Was I always going to end up working for you?” Liz asked again.

“Liz, as I tried to explain before, there were several young women on Earth that Antar was watching. Growing up on Antar or at least the memories they gave me of growing up and surviving their society, I had decided that I wanted a contract companion, preferably one from some other society than Antar. As I said, one of the women was killed in an accident. Two others were brought to Antar and allowed to become companions and wives of ministers of the monarchy. I don’t know if there were others after you or not. After you arrived, I told them to cancel my part in the program. I did force a contract companion on Isabel. I think she now accepts him and I heard they were making a very unusual commitment. We were lucky to get Kyle. Like Maria, he was just a lucky chance. He will be a great assistant to Michael in problems of military force. You have to accept what is ordained and, also, accept that which is a gift of chance. What we are going to do with Lila will be seen by you and Isabel,” Max said. “I am turning her over to the two of you.”
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

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Re: Apocalypse, CC, mature, ch 20, pg12 Apr 21, 2014

Postby ken_r » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:08 am

Roswelllostcause: In almost all descriptions of Isabel that I read, the author shows two sides. There is the public side and the responsible side. Royalty's protection always comes from the troops. When healing, Isabel takes the troops into her heart like family. She probably then would return to the cold exterior which offers her protection from what ever world she faces.

keepsmiling7: It is amazing what words convey. Max described Liz as the one who shared his bed. If we say they are married or going steady, don't we imply they are sleeping together. Maybe it sounds more "crass" when we say she who shares his bed, but it means the same thing. Max is telling the politicians that his love life is taken care of and out of bounds. In this case, it might defuse any expectations that giving their daughter to Max will give them even further favors.

begonia9508: It is a feudal world and i don't necessarily like it. I don't like the one we live in here in the States either, where any speech against certain groups becomes treason. Our constitution has been stepped on and trampled so much that it doesn't exist any more. We have hate crimes which means, say any thing "We" don't like and we will punish you.


Chapter 21

Kyle was in meetings with Max and Michael. Isabel and Liz had gathered with Lila to decide what to do with her. Tess came along because she had nothing else to do and Serina was there to assist Liz. The poise Lila had struck while in company of her family and with the king slowly dissolved. In the company of so many beautiful women, she became a wild, frightened little girl. Lila was tall, even a little taller than Isabel. She was darker than the other women; Max said that her planet had a strong red sun somewhat like Antar, but the planet didn’t have the atmosphere protection that was afforded to those living on Antar. Liz had no idea of her actual age. Lila’s ability in speaking Antarian, was limited only to the social niceties. If the questions became more complex, she had trouble understanding.

Ech and Och did have trouble for a few minutes trying to communicate with Lila. Isabel stated, “They have broad abilities in Languages. Most of the time creatures like them drift through the universe seeking positions as beauticians through many cultures. Finally, the murmurs of the fury creatures brought smiles from the young girl. There were several squeaks and squawks until finally Isabel said, “Lila is not used to taking showers in the presence of others, even if they are all female. Our diplomatic beauticians have assured her that this is all quite normal.”

Whatever the argument, Lila finally removed her clothes and stepped into the warm shower. The experience must have been pleasant because she remained until the shower automatically turned off. First the drying wind and then she was wrapped in a robe, Lila sat before the mirror.

All cultures have their styles and many times these styles are not helpful for the individuals. Lila’s hair was tremendously long. Isabel wondered if it had ever been cut. The beauticians argued for several minutes and finally Isabel translated Lila’s wishes. “She wants her hair like yours, Liz.”

“She has such long black hair, why don’t you untangle it and then let her decide how short to cut it. You can always curl it or try some different styles,” Liz suggested.

Lila’s face fell. Some more chattering, then, “Liz,” Isabel said. “She says the king gave her to you and she wants to honor you by having her hair fixed like yours. I think we again have problems with the words slave and possession. She doesn’t realize what rights she does have.”

With a nod from Isabel, Ech and Och busied themselves with the beehive of black hair. It was almost an hour before they had it stretched out and were measuring it to be cut. The hair when combed straight, now, went down her back below her waist. Only with Liz’s nod of approval did Lila relax and let the two creatures work on her. Lila was fitted with a golden bracelet and dressed much like the other women. Finally, she was brought out to face the family.

Lila was a hostage, but she was a hostage with a liability. To serve in the royal family, she needed an education. Maria, was kept separate from the others most of the time, by Michael. Only when he was deployed in a danger zone, did she revert to the family. In the mean time, the other women of the king’s household would set up plans for Lila’s education.

--------------------

Later that evening, Serina cornered her cousin, Tess. “Isabel talked about the two words, slave and possession. She said the meanings of these words are not clear. Am I not a possession of the king, given to Liz to manage?” she asked.

Tess nodded her head. “Yes, Liz, as an Earth woman, cannot hold your papers, but the king did put you in her care by direction of the court. You were made to work at hard labor for your punishment by the court. After that period of time, Liz chose to bring you into her home. Has she hurt you in any way?” Tess asked.

“No, but she does tell me what I can and what I cannot do,” Serina stated.

“Yes and the king tells her what she can and cannot do,” Tess added. “She may have his bed, but he is still the king and his word is law. “Isabel holds my papers, they were given to her by my family. She tells me what I can and cannot do as does the king tell her. Will Liz, with permission of the king, sell you someday? Perhaps, but it would only be if your sale had some value to the monarchy and probably to yourself. It wouldn’t be for your monetary value. Rather, it would be for what you represent or could represent. Will Isabel ever sell me? I don’t think so, as I represent their investment in Antar Four. Would the king ever sell Kyle? That again probably would not happen. Kyle is invaluable as a warrior. What about Michael and his golden girl, Maria? Not much chance there, I heard that Michael has made plans that if, as a soldier, he is killed, Maria is to revert to the monarchy. She would be held in the family for her musical ability,” Tess declared.

“Let’s look at that part about me. You say that Liz might sell me. I find that scary,” Serina said.

“I said that if it would benefit the monarchy or your own person. The price would not be important. Remember, Liz can’t do anything except by the permission of the king. What, for an example, if someone wanted you as a companion, what if that someone was someone who you liked? The king might be persuaded to part with your papers, of course, only with the court’s permission. You are sort of a special case,” Tess explained.

“What about this new girl, Lila? Will the king sell her?” Serina asked.

“Probably not, at least for a while. The people who brought her gave her to the king as a daughter. They were making a supplication. Until the terms of that supplication are met, she must remain in the family of the king. Isabel told me that the king is not sure whether or not she is an actual relative of those who brought her to the king. That is unimportant. She was a symbol of a promise the king made. When the promise has been kept, then the king will decide what to do with her,” Tess said.

“It doesn’t look like any sure thing for either Lila or myself,” Serina said.

“Serina, there are not many ‘sure things’ in life. The sure thing would have been your execution. A sure thing would have been sending you to a house of pleasure out on the rim of the monarchy. Sometimes, it is better to have possibilities in the future than a single sure thing,” Tess declared.

“You seemed pretty sure of yourself. You said the king wouldn’t sell you or let Isabel sell you,” Serina stated.

“What I said was that I didn’t think so. What if the condition on Antar Four deteriorated to the point that the king lost all of his holdings on that planet? What would my value be if all the king’s investments on Antar Four were to be lost? Like, what if the monarchy your family tried to form was successful. Then my only value would be my friendship with Isabel. The outbreak of war with Antar Four would put me in a strange and difficult position with Isabel, the king and everyone. Of course, Kyle as my lover might intercede in my behalf. That is always something.

-----------------------

“Well, we would have done it anyway, taking their hostage just makes sure that we do it sooner,” Max explained.

Michael spoke up, “I think the leaders of Krout’s planet want to make sure that we understand their position. They don’t want us to think that they are working with the pirates. The hostage was to assure us that they were against the pirates.

“If I understand this, we want a surgical strike. You don’t want us to destroy the entire planet,” Kyle said.

“Even if their leaders hadn’t petitioned us on behalf of their planet, I don’t think Michael nor I want to destroy a whole planet, again, ever,” Max stated. “You are right; a surgical strike is what is needed.”

“I was thinking of about twenty of Michael’s ground pounders and, maybe, my ten men for backup, that might make a quick in and out,” Kyle mused as he studied the information Max had given him about the planet, Krout. Then Kyle leaned back, “This brings up a problem I need to address. Antarians and many of you in this system have your own method of creating power blasts. Max, do you think your whiz kids, in your military supply, could whip up some sort of laser blasters for my ten men? Our main value will be if these pirates have disrupters. Disrupters don’t effect us. Give us blasters of some sort and we will offer cover for Michael’s troops under a disrupter attack.”

Max nodded, hand held blasters were possible. The Antarian army could conduct their own blasts much more efficiently. Kyle was bringing up something that should be considered.

-------------------

With Kyle and his ten men gone, the security of the compound would be up to Liz and Alex. There was something that Liz had not foreseen. “Angels of mercy,” were Antarians gifted in healing. Max ordered Isabel, Tess and Serina to prepare to serve on this expedition. Alex was less than happy about Isabel being gone, but Kyle explained, “Hey, man, I got Tess going too. Don’t you think for a minute I won’t keep their safety in mind the whole trip? I promised my troops and Michael will probably feel the same that we keep the causalities on our side down as much as possible. I promise that unless it is beyond my power, I won’t let them leave the safety of the ship. The ship will have a full staff of officers on it at all times.

Liz and Alex played paper, rock and scissors to determine which way each patrol went. Alex won the hill-country, which he would patrol and then, he would return to the woods as Liz changed to the front yard. Of course talking about the yard, they were talking about several square miles of the compound.

The drills of memorizing the paths paid off. Rotating every evening, both teams learned and relearned the various paths. Sometimes they worked with nightlights and sometimes they worked in the dark. If the operations room reported any malfunction, it would be Liz’s and Alex’s teams’ duty to check it out. Max didn’t announce the mission he had sent Michael and Kyle on, but there were plenty of ways the information could have been leaked out. The duty of the two remaining teams was to protect the king and Maria along with the free staff, who lived within the compound.

Most of the time, glitches within the system, were just that, glitches. Mechanical and electrical components always had ways of failing. They all had to be checked out. There was one night that every time the teams came in, the alarms would go off. Liz, Alex and their teams were worn out by morning. The electricians went out at first light and found that, there had been tampering with the system, testing it from many sides.

Max had worked from the main house. His security spread thin and needing to hear the first things from Michael and Kyle were given as reasons to those living at the house. Max had allowed the troops to sleep in as there had been so much confusion the night before. It started again the minute that it got dark. Liz and Alex had carefully led their teams to the back of the compound as that probably would be where any intrusion would start. The testing had been both at the front and rear of the compound, but every time before that troopers had invaded the compound it had been from the back.

They stretched the ten human troopers along the side where the compound seemed most vulnerable. Liz and Alex quietly patrolled the other side of the compound themselves.

There was a click from a communicator that indicated someone was breaking into the area. Liz and Alex were about to return to their troops when shadows were seen throwing something over the fence and men swarmed over near where they had been standing. Liz whispered into the communicator to her troops on the other side of the compound, “Form up on the intruders you see, we have another attack from our side.”

They must have heard something because when Liz contacted her people on the other side of the compound the intruders froze for several minutes. There was a hum, which turned into a buzz and the men continued climbing over the fence. Alex put his mouth next to Liz’s ear and whispered, “They must think we are Antarians and they are using those disrupter devices.”

Liz nodded in the affirmative, forgetting that Alex could not see her. She replied in a clipped whisper, “Yes, we need to hit them hard. If they realize that there are only two of us, we might be in trouble.”

About that time, flashes were seen through the woods from the other side. Hell-a-cious sounds came through the woods. Liz had given their troops flash bangs or the Antarian equivalent. They went off making a sharp bang and a flash that could go right through closed eye lids. Now power blast are not silent, but they do not have the accompanying racket that pyrotechnics have. Power blasts cause air to quickly rush in and fill the void from the rapid change of matter to energy. What the intruders were facing was different and thus, worrisome.

The intruders in front of Liz and Alex formed up to start a charge, hopefully at their enemies rear. The flashes of the laser weapons Liz and Alex used were almost totally silent. They didn’t displace enough matter to cause any sound. There were several screams as men died in flames. The lasers didn’t send out a continuous stream; they did have to recharge in between flashes. Liz heard on her communicator, “We’re coming in. No enemy left to your rear.”

As they all formed up back at the main house, Liz stated, “I am sorry we don’t have any prisoners to interrogate. It would be nice to know more about what their targets were.”

They all looked up as the king appeared. “You all did well. We didn’t have the luxury to take prisoners. We had to turn back the intruders. It is assumed that few, if any, escaped. That is good as they still don’t know that our security is cut in half.”

Later in their bedroom, the king now became the lover. He helped Liz out of her cargo pants and black pull over sweater. “When they were studying you back on Earth, they were not looking for a soldier. They were looking for a companion and advisor. I guess even the best of research misses things sometimes.”

Liz didn’t ask questions because she hurt in every way. She stank from the odor of burning flesh and burning vegetation. The king’s comment struck her, but she tried to file it away to discuss it later when her mind didn’t have so much competition. After a long hot shower, her king/lover carefully rubbed liniment into tired muscles. Liz never knew when he quietly kissed her and turned out the lights. She never moved until morning.
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

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Re: Apocalypse, CC, mature, ch 21, pg13 Apr 28, 2014

Postby ken_r » Mon May 05, 2014 10:41 am

Roswelllostcause:

begonia9508: Yes they are unhappy and this can be the same with slaves to their jobs, to situations which over which they have no control or slaves of the world in general. To escape slavery, maybe, you have to escape to a fantasy where you feel in control.

keepsmiling7: Remember many subjects were studied looking for the best companion to the king. Who they picked surprised them all.


Chapter 22

Michael and Kyle had returned and they were very grim. There were no fatalities on their side and all the wounded had been repaired. Max had included Isabel and, of course, Tess in the debriefing. Liz was called in with her assistant Serina. Max started, “I want to thank the Angels of Mercy. Ladies you did well. The troops will be much more focused if they know they will have good medical attention at their backs.” Isabel, Tess and Serina had all nodded at this complement. From the king it was great indeed.

Michael spoke up next. “Things were a lot worse than we were expecting. They weren’t bringing in young slaves. They were bringing in masses of humanity. If this was directed by Earthmen, then they are much more depraved than we thought. The pirates had hit a community and herded men, women and children without any regard, into their ships. Although there were several very young children, there were not many old people, that makes me think, they ditched those they felt had no value into space somewhere. King Theo and the men of Kraut, didn’t waste much time with the captain and officers. He hanged all of them. The strange thing was they were not, in any way, related to Antarians. They didn’t blow away when they died. I guess they are still hanging there today. King Theo sent all the crew of the vessal to the slave market and they were sold for hard labor. The bulk of the cargo they sold for domestic use. They should have pretty good lives in that capacity. The young people and the children we brought here, along with a few women who were willing to work as nannies. You are going to have to decide what to do with them.”

Max asked, “How did the troopers, the Antarians and humans get along working together?”

Michael looked at Kyle and stated, “Pretty well, when that disrupter hits you and another trooper who isn’t bothered by it catches you and keeps you standing, you don’t care what planet he came from. I think by the time we were through, they both appreciated the other’s strong points and support for their weaknesses. Antarian and human lined up with the Angels of Mercy without any regard when they were hurt. We may have to pull a grab on an officer somewhere. We have to find out where these disrupters are coming from. We need to drug him and keep him alive to let someone like Isabel or Tess dig into his brain.”

Kyle spoke up, “Max, we need more human troops. We need to seed them all through the Antarian army.”

Michael was doodling on some papers in front of him. “Max, we need to make a deal with a registered slaver to bribe several politicians for about a hundred troops. Kyle wants to try to recruit some mercenaries from the bad lands of Earth. As the cities shrink, there are many really rough areas surrounding them. Kyle believes that a ship landing in a zone prepared for recruitment could raise a number of willing applicants, especially, if we offer to bring their immediate families. The recruits would be rough and wooly, but Kyle and some of his boys could settle them down.

Max did notice a darkness move across the face of his assistant. He had always believed in her. If she had some objections that she didn’t chose to make in this open meeting, Max needed to know them and give them consideration.

Later that night while lying in bed, Max asked, “What is troubling you, Liz?”

Max, it is all this talk about raping the resources of Earth. It is true that Earth failed me, but that was where I was born and somewhere in the masses, maybe, my parents still live. Taking the 20 troopers last time was just a drop in the bucket, now you are talking about hundreds both as indentures and contractees.” Max noticed that Liz couldn’t bring herself to say slaves. For whatever reasons, she chose the word indentures. Somewhere in her mind, this softened the thought of people in slavery. They had all tried to show Liz that there were many forms of slavery and the human who can’t afford to leave conditions in which they are unhappy is one of those forms. “Max,” Liz continued, “aren’t you weakening more, the already weak system of Earth?”

“Liz, Earth is doomed. When the first citizen found out that he could vote for lifetime benefits without working, Earth was doomed. When the first politician learned that politics was a pathway to untold wealth, Earth was doomed sooner. The argument is when. How long can they hold out before dark ages again fall upon the world?” Max asked.

“Max, is there nothing that can be done about it?” Liz asked in returned.

“Liz when you were but a child and signed your contract, Earth had been given 50 years before the governments all failed. The official estimate, now, is 25 years. Many researchers on site all say that they feel the estimate should be closer to ten. Antar has no intention to do anything about the fall. We are looking into how we can help the rebuilding process. We are not sure that we haven’t lost that spark ourselves, that Earth will need. Antar is an old civilization and we have lost and rebuilt civilizations many times. As it is said that the blood of the kings runs weak from repeated cloning, so does the ability to rebuild our world. We may have lost many things that rebuilding will need. The men we want are to fight the pillages of the pirates. Earth is one of the main places being ravaged. If they are not stopped, who knows what planet will be attacked next? The registered slave ships brought people like Maria, who Earth wasn’t giving a chance to, what was hoped, a better life. Didn’t you hear Michael’s report, the pirate ship had a cargo of random citizens and evidence that they deep spaced those who were not fit for sale? They had children and no one knows what they intended for them.” Antar doesn’t have the resources to open new advances against them. We need Earthmen to stand beside us for the protection of the universe. I am inclined to double Kyle and Michael’s request.

---------------------

It was announced that Isabel and Alex would sign a very important agreement. Before they signed it, lawyers met privately with both of them to try to argue them out of it.

“Indenturing yourself is ridiculous. Why not try a ten year binding and see how that goes?”

“Hey, he is just an Earther. Why not get him to sign an indenture for promised sexual favors and you hold his papers? After all you are the clone of he king’s sister.”

When everything was over, Isabel had been the one ordered by the king to take Alex to her bed and this way, she would know that Alex would never be the one to stray. Alex signed the papers and now, he was the slave of Isabel and before any of her lawyers could interfere, she likewise sighed papers that made her belong to Alex. They both exchanged gold rings.

------------------

The department of genetics and cloning sent requests, signed by the king of course, for seven of the royal family to report for genetic banking. The Antarians knew full well what this meant, but the humans were completely blind. Maria was brought in and given shots. Because she was not a free person, not much was said about the process. Michael was always the one who took her to the clinic. When the time came to harvest her eggs, it was all he could do to keep her from attacking the doctor. In hindsight, Michael knew, maybe, he could have prepared her better, but harvesting eggs had never been done to him so how was he to know about the effect of the process. Antarians, especially the royals, were very circumspect about genetic banking. Every move of the technicians had to be recorded and signed. There must be no doubt regarding whose eggs or sperm were being banked.

When Michael’s turn came, he was a true soldier. He stood as the woman technician reached for his manhood and began to massage him. It was Maria who immediately had a fit. “Hey, if someone is going to do that to Michael, it better be me.” The technician laughed, but it was too late. Michael had already given up his seed.

Liz had an equal discomfort, as did Maria, at the process of banking her eggs. “Why, Max?” she asked.

“Liz, I once told you that the blood of the king was running thin. Now the advisory council is making overtures to, maybe, making new blood lines. They included Kyle and Tess in this for reasons of their own. The royals are used to constantly having their genetic material studied. I guess we didn’t realize how different it would be for those not used to the process.

It was reported that Alex lodged a strong objection to the whole process, but it was Kyle who caused the most trouble. Tess was standing by his side and Kyle backed himself into a corner and it was all Tess could do to calm him down. “Hey, I ain’t about to be jacked off with my lover watching,” he cried.

“Kyle, this is something every royal Antarian is obligated to do. If something happens to you, they might still want your blood line,” she explained. “They will take my genetic material, also, and it is a much more difficult process.”

“Why, Tess? I ain’t royal in any bodies army. I am a simple dog soldier and, yes, I am a slave obligated to do what I am ordered. I just didn’t sign up for this,” Kyle cried.

It was recorded and signed by the technician and Tess, that finally, Kyle did comply. Only the technicians knew that it was Tess who finally made Kyle give up his genetic material. Before it became Tess’s turn, Kyle was long gone on the Isabella II heading for a recruitment and slave harvest on Earth. Tess sighed, it would have been nice to have Kyle’s support, but he did have duties and having him with her in the clinic might have made things even more difficult.

Michael, also, had gone with Kyle. Michael wanted to supervise the slave harvest while Kyle directed the recruitment. Max reminded Liz that she and Isabel had to host a diplomatic gathering? Liz asked, “Max why do you hold such gatherings. They are not parties they are more war games. The first one I had to attend, a young girl was almost condemned to death. Except for the actions of Kyle, the second party would easily have ended up in a brawl,” Liz said.

“Yes, but Rulian didn’t get executed and she now has a new name, Serina and is part of the royal family of Antar. On the surface these things are war games. It is what comes out of them that makes them useful. Besides, all sides have to show they are still powerful forces to be reckoned with,” Max further explained.

“Max, you almost sound like you think there are other forces which are directing your monarchy,” Liz stated.

“Oh my, Liz, you came from Earth. They believe that the state is god and god is the state. Maybe, that is fitting as when they fall, they have no one to turn to but themselves. I carry out my duties as I feel I should and many times, it seems that there are forces I don’t understand which control the outcomes. Liz, I don’t have the answer; I am just willing to accept that there many times that the outcomes are for the best.

------------------------

Tess was responsible for organizing the escorted pairs of the king’s family, she was approached by Serina. “Tess could you arrange my escort to be a certain person?” Serina asked.

“Of course, unless it is someone the king might disapprove of,” Tess answered.

“It’s Diego, one of Kyle’s commandos. He was badly wounded when Kyle and Michael took us to Kraut’s planet. I spent a lot of time talking to him. I was going to ask Liz if I could see him socially. I think his clearance would be good, working with Kyle and all.” Serina said.

Tess smiled, “Of course, I will have to ask Liz or the king, but if they don’t object, then, consider it done. I think you should talk to Liz. She is pretty understanding of things. Is that the only contact you have had with him?” Tess asked.

“No, we sit and talk whenever we both have free time. He is very strange for a soldier. He has a strong belief in spirits,” Serina explained.

“You mean like dead people?” Tess had heard tales of spirits of the dead who were not at rest. Some of the tales Michael told were proof of this.

“No, in some spirit which guides us even when we don’t know about it,” Serina stated.
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

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Re: Apocalypse, CC, mature, ch 22, pg13 May 5, 2014

Postby ken_r » Tue May 13, 2014 12:04 pm

begonia9508: Later they will began to send their people to Earth. Both cultures need new blood.

keepsmiling7: It is worse than you think. Politicians say give everything to those who don't do anything then the politicians remind us than they do the least of all.

Roswelllostcause: It will be seen that even Serina is party to bringing new blood back to Earth.

Chapter23

Things had been quiet, at least for a little while. Isabel approached Alex. He knew she had been planning something, for several weeks he caught her musing as if in a distant land. “Alex, will you come with me. I want to show you something different of Antar and probably different in me, also,” she requested.

“Sure, Izzy. What could you show me that I haven’t already seen in you?” Alex answered making a light joke of the matter.

“Alex, there are many things you don’t know about me and there are many that I don’t want you to ever know. This was a period of extreme happiness that I felt years ago. I want to share it with you. Alex did you have animals that you rode for pleasure, back on Earth?” Isabel asked.

“Yes, we had a mammal known as a horse. I only rode one once and that was in a class of history. They were trying to make the past live for us. We rode around in a circle. I didn’t see that much fun in doing that. I did read about times before equality, when many people rode this animal. They always spoke in glowing tones of the relationship between man and beast.” Alex saw that Isabel was very serious about what she had been thinking about. He didn’t have any idea about what she wanted to do or why it was so mysterious. It meant a lot to Isabel and that was enough.

They left before sunup the next morning. They were riding in a small air transport set up for non military. The time that Alex and Isabel had been hurt by the intruder, Max and Michael had ridden to the compound in a military transport. That had required special gear to protect the passengers. This transport traveled much slower and smoother so the flight was a pleasant panorama of Antarian landscape. The city seen from the kings compound and the surrounding area was very desolate and dry. The compound was green at one end where the forest was and dry hills towards the front gate, much like the natural landscape outside the compound. Alex saw that he probably had been right when he thought that the hills in the front of the compound were artificial. The surrounding country was mostly flat. There were a few drainages showing that at least at one time, there had been a lot of moisture. From their altitude, Alex saw that there were several other cities in the distance, but their direction of travel was distinctly away from them.

Soon Alex saw a line of blue-green on the forward horizon. As they neared, the blue-green gave way to grasslands and in the distance, mountains. They were not rough high mountains, more like some of the ancient mountains of the eastern Provence of North America back home. This again reminded Alex that Antar was a very old planet.

Finally they landed at a compound consisting of a main house, many cabins and several out buildings. As they got out, Isabel ran to an elderly man and his wife. “Serisa, Eban, how have you been?” she cried.

“Child, it has been so long, it is good to see you,” Serisa said.

“You know that Alt and Elta have missed you,” Eban added.

Isabel hung her head, “I know, somehow I have let things of immediate importance get in the way of what is really important. I am here for two days. I want you to meet someone,” and she pulled Alex in front of her.

“Oh, this is your indenture mate,” Serisa said. “That was a big step child. The royal family is not known for being steadfast. It is a bold statement you have put before the people. I hope you can make it; this will go a long way to establishing the new blood line. How is your brother?”

“Max is fine, he has a contracted Earth woman in his bed and she is also, his assistant. The earth woman has many abilities. Recently, she has established a group of female commandos to aid in the defense of the king,” Isabel stated.

And, the second of the king, is he finding a respite from the demons which bother him?” Serisa asked.

I guess he is fine. You know Michael. Max has appointed him as regent to Antar Four. That was a dicey project for a while. It was Max’s assistant who defused the situation. The two alternatives for the girl guilty of treason rejected and Liz picks herself to be the princess’s guardian. Those who wanted execution and getting to make the subject a martyr, and those who wanted to see her suffer at a pleasure house on the rim were both blindsided by Liz taking the princess completely away from all of them. Liz was the injured party and she insisted that she handle the punishment. The king concurred, giving the girl a new name and actually showing a young girl compassion instead of vengeance,” Isabel narrated. “With Tess’s help, I bought Michael an Earthian slave girl,” Isabel added.

“Oh child, will you never learn? You tried to fulfill the lives of your brother and his second; many times it always ended in tragedy,” Serisa stated.

“This time I think I got it right. She is trained in music by Earth and, also, by Antar. If anyone can sooth Michael’s soul, she is the one. Now, when he has to officially visit Antar Four, Michael takes her with him,” Isabel explained.

Serisa and Eban both shook their heads and Serisa said, “Max and Michael were such good boys. I know there are things that a king and his second must do. It is good if Michael now has found someone to bring him peace.”

“Alt and Elta, do you think they are ready for a run?” Isabel asked.

Eban laughed in that deep laugh he had, “Child, with you here they always are ready for a run.”

Serisa showed Alex and Isabel to their room and they quickly changed. Isabel had Antarian riding clothes. She had told Alex to bring some well fitting work clothes and his combat boots. When Alex looked at Isabel he saw she was wearing beautiful tooled riding boots or at least what Alex took for riding boots. He wasn’t a cowboy and he sure wasn’t ready for the proper social clothes for riding on Antar.

Alt and Elta were hoofed animals or at least that is what they looked like to Alex at first. When Eban gave a command and one by one they lifted a hoof for Eban’s inspection Alex saw that they had a horned plate in front of the hoof, but they also had a large soft pad behind it. Alex imagined the animals could travel over snow as well as soft sand. He didn’t know how agile they were on shear rock paths. All of this was overshadowed by the fact that they were over one and a half times taller at their shoulder than a man of Alex’s height. They had long necks with broad intelligent heads and to top that off they had two long horns. At the base of the horns, there were leather wraps. Alex didn’t know what they were for.

The saddles had very high and padded cantles or backs. The pommel or high rising front of the saddle was padded, also. The fenders or the parts, which ran down the sides of the mount were folded over so the leg was completely covered as the foot rested in the stirrup. They wore no reins and what little Alex knew about riding horses, bothered him as he asked, “How do you communicate to these beasts to get them to go where you direct?”

Both animals were very excited when they sensed Isabel. “Alex, the styla is a very intelligent animal. Many times, I think they are smarter than many of the people I meet. They have very long memories. I was just a child when these were colts. Eban tapped each animal on the and they knelt so Isabel and Alex could climb aboard. A word from Isabel and they both stood. The standing showed Alex the thought that had gone into the saddles. He was shifted from side to side and front to back, but he never felt he had been in danger of falling off. “Alex, lean forward and grab the horns at their base. Use your thumb and two fingers to hold on while you let your last two fingers touch the head on either side. That is the way you direct them,” Isabel explained.

Riding this high, Alex could see the fun of watching the world from such a high perch. The rich leather saddle rested on the black to blue-black, backs, of the styla that gave way to light tan bellies. They reminded Alex of something called antelopes that he had seen in books he had read about the Provence of Africa. They had long distance eating strides as he and Isabel rode side by side. Isabel leaned over to whisper into the ear of her beast and turning to Alex, “Are you ready to experience the true pleasure of riding a styla?”

Alex thought he nodded affirmatively, but what ever he did was quickly lost in the leap Isabel’s animal made. His followed quickly. In Alex’s mind, they were leaping close to twenty meters in each leap. They landed so softly and immediately, they were back in the air. Now, Alex learned the true appreciation for the structure of his saddle. They had been heading towards some mountains in the distance. At the leisurely walk it might have taken them several hours to get there. Now Alex saw that it would be only a matter of an hour or so.

When they arrived, Isabel was out of breath with excitement and Alex was out of breath from a mixture of excitement and fear. Isabel said the words to her animal and it quickly knelt. Then, she jumped off to say the same words to the steed Alex was riding. Taking a towel from bags fastened to her saddle, Isabel began to rub her animal dry from his sweat. It took Alex a little more time to find his way about the saddle, to find his legs, also, but soon he followed the same. Isabel took another package from her saddle pack and speaking to both animals, she released them to stand. Another command and they drifted a few meters away and started to graze.

“It’s been too long since I have been here. Max and Michael used to ride with me. Now, they are too busy. I tried to take Tess once but she was terrified at the long leaps. She would have gone with me, but I didn’t want to frighten her. I am glad you came and stuck with me,” Isabel said.

“They are beautiful animals, Isabel. Are there many of them on Antar?” Alex asked.

“No, they are very expensive to keep and only royal families like ours can afford them. Most of them are on preserves like this one. Serisa and Eban care for our heard,” Isabel explained.

Isabel opened the package that Serisa had prepared. They had a lunch that was traditional for styla riders. The Antarians had no conception of a sandwich and Alex thought that was something he should change. There were seed cakes and dried meat jerky strips. The Antarians had no tolerance for alcohol, so there were bottles of some semi sweet liquid. Until he had sat down and started to contemplate, Alex had not seen movements in the distance, which Isabel told him were herds of other beasts, but not stylas. “Could we bring blankets out here and camp over night? I am sure it would be so beautiful,” Alex remarked.

Isabel quickly shook her head. “No, no, it would be very dangerous. We might be able to survive, but the stylas couldn’t. There are night predators of immense size. They can’t take the light, but come nighttime, they come out. This is a natural preserve. That is another reason that ` stylas are not allowed to run wild,” Isabel informed him.

“That brings up another question,” Alex said. “If Antar is a very old planet, why isn’t it more crowded?”

“Our history is not that much different from that of Earth. We went through many revolutions and periods of rebuilding. For the last few centuries, the royal family has been perpetuated by cloning. Several lines have run out, but there was always another to be started. There is a lot riding on the relationship of Max and his assistant. People like Serisa and Eban are kept together by their occupation. I don’t even want to know what their real relationship is. They have been like foster parents to me. I would never inquire into their sex lives. I know they have no natural children. The society of the royal families is too selfish and self-centered to raise children. Many times, they have themselves cloned or at least their original biological components preserved to continue after they die. Remember the sperm bank and the egg bank that we all suffered through sometime ago? That is what it was for. If we get hurt or killed, the committee might decide to bring back our essence in the form of children that we never had time to produce,” Isabel said.

“I guess Earth is heading that way. Being taken away from our families at the age of three and enrolled in public school didn’t do much to develop a family,” Alex stated.

“Yes, both worlds have very open sex lives. They are each very different, but there is little incentive to reproduce and even less to create families,” Isabel mused.

“What is the purpose of bringing Earth people to Antar?” Alex asked.

“Our condition has been going on for hundreds of years. It is very hard to break. Earth people have only been slipping down this slope for the last fifty to one hundred years. We are hoping that Earth people will reestablish reproduction and, maybe, even families. My brother, Max, wants something else. He wants belief in something bigger than ourselves. You have only condemned religion for, maybe, fifty years, but we have lost our beliefs over several thousand years. Max says we need something greater than ourselves to strive for. Even Max knows that this may be only a dream and not possible to create,” Isabel said.

“You are putting a lot of faith in a people who just wrecked their planet,” Alex stated.

Isabel looked at the star of Antar in its afternoon setting. “Alex, we have to prepare to go back. We don’t want to be caught out on the plains after dark. Isabel and Alex quickly repacked everything and Isabel whistled for the styla to return. The beasts knelt and they quickly scrambled back on board. It seemed to Alex that the trip home was considerably faster and maybe, it was. Then Alex thought, no matter who you were after a long day of work you wanted a warm stable and good meal along with safety. The styla didn’t want to get caught out on the plains at night, either.

Serisa and Eban set a good table. The four of them sat eating and drinking well into the night. The topics were Alex’s impression of riding the styla and a few stories he remembered about horses back on Earth in historical times. Then they jumped to Alex’s appearance in court on behalf of Liz. What was Liz like? Why did Alex who was successful on Earth decided to migrate to Antar? Had he and Isabel thought of having a family? That was a ball buster. Isabel saved Alex by stating that they had only been tied by indenture for a short time, but she wasn’t against it. Finally, Serisa stood up. Eban, I think we have kept these young people up for a long enough time. “Izzy, you must take your young man out to look at the sky. The compound is safe enough for that. Alex, I hear that Earth is near the edge of its galaxy. You will find that Antar is closer to the center and the nearby whirlpool galaxy is very bright tonight.

Alex knew that there were a lot of stars in the Antarian sky. He had seen them while on night patrol with his commandos. The king’s compound was near the city and the light pollution only allowed the brightest stars to shine through. Out here in the compound, there were no lights. The sky shone brightly in its full glory.

An amount of agoraphobia kicked in as the vast open space of the sky made Alex a bit dizzy. Isabel held his arm as he righted his mind to the panorama in front of him. No, he wasn’t in Kansas anymore and like Dorothy it took several minutes to accept his new reality. In the distance he heard the screams and roars of what ever was out there. No wonder Isabel didn’t want to camp out. Alex wondered what it was like long ago when Antarians had been primitive and live in such a world. As if she could read his question, Isabel said, “Those animals were not always on Antar. They are a product of one of the wars.”

They sat for some time, Isabel resting her head on Alex’s chest and holding his hand tightly. Finally, they went in to their room safely away from the screams of the night.

As they lay in bed, Isabel touched a button and a panel slid back showing a window to the sky overhead. There must be a lot of space debris as meteor showers were frequent. As they lay in each other’s arms watching the show, Alex asked, “Did you mean it when you said we might be thinking about a family?”

“Yes, I think the council has about had its fill of those at the fortress. They seem satisfied with Max, Michael and me, but there have been many recent clones, which were lacking. They are encouraging all of us to think about families,” Isabel explained.

“We would probably be equal in not knowing what we were doing,” Alex mused.

“Giving a child or children as much of our time as we can, would probably be the first step,” Isabel stated.

----------------------------

Alex’s fantastic memory brought back readings from school talking about farm families. They worked hard and they ate well. After yesterdays ride Alex felt he could eat an entire beast if it was like one of those found on the plains. Eban talked a little about the farm. They raised a type of hoofed animal whose meat they sold to the city. They used styla to herd them and round them up when it came time for market. About the only farming they did was grass for the feed of their herd and the styla. “There’s some farming over that a ways,” Eban said as they talked. “They raise vegetables and such.”

Alex and Isabel only had a half a day because their transport back to the king’s compound would arrive a little after mid day.

The styla walked a few miles heading a different direction than that they had taken yesterday. Again Isabel whispered something into her animal’s ear and with a nod to Alex they took off across the plains. At the top of the leaps, Alex saw something he called out, “Izzy, hold up.”

“What is it Alex,” she asked.

I saw something that looked like a ruined city over that way,” Alex said pointing. “Can we go see it?”

Isabel shook her head. She pointed to some bright red markers that Alex could barely make out. “The city was bombed out in one of the revolutions. It will be radioactive for many years to come. All life avoids that area. Plants, animals and people all know that it is deadly.”

“Oh,” Alex answered. Somehow, this dirtied what he had thought of the Antarians. They were a great people, but they had huge skeletons in their closets. Soon, they approached one of the herds they had seen yesterday. They seemed at first, to be smaller editions of the styla.

“What is the difference between these animals, other than size, to the noble steeds we ride?” he asked.

“Intelligence. You might be able to train some of them, but you could never expect to hold conversations with them. Styla were not originally from Antar. They were brought here way back in history. The styla changed to become smarter and smarter. Then, they began to bond to people. Styla are totally different animals,” Isabel explained.

“Carry on a conversation with them? Does that mean that you can talk to the styla and they can give you information?” Alex asked astounded. He really believed that Isabel’s love for her animals influenced what she believed they could do.

“Of course, they do. You are riding Elta and she says you have nice thighs. She wants to know if we are mating,” Isabel laughed as she told him.

“Isn’t that kind of impertinent for a riding steed to ask of its master or mistress?” Alex asked.

“Alex, don’t think for a minute that we own these creatures. In fact, they may believe that they own us. I explained that we were mating, but it wasn’t yet time for me to conceive. That seemed to satisfy her for the moment. Maybe, they remember that when I was young I rode them all the time and they want someone who is young to return who doesn’t have to bother about grown people things,” Isabel explained.

That gave Alex something to think about. He saw more ruins, always from a distance as Isabel was careful not to get close. They rode up to a great depression. It was a circular bowl, maybe a kilometer across and several meters deep. It had weathered and there were many paths down to the bottom. “Hey Izzy, this isn’t natural aren’t you afraid that it may contain radiation?” he asked.

“No Alex, it was an experiment that one side or the other tried. Someone tried to vector a meteorite so it would hit a city. It completely destroyed the city, but it caused many other instabilities in our planet. That is principally why the revolutions stopped. We were on the path to destroying Antar and no one could win that,” Isabel stated.
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

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Re: Apocalypse, CC, mature, ch 23, pg13 May 13, 2014

Postby ken_r » Mon May 19, 2014 11:14 am

Roswelllostcause:

begonia9508: Science Fiction usually says any culture which embracing cloning destroys its gene pool.

keepsmiling7: The cloning, the wars and time were making Antarians tired. They needed new blood.



Chapter 24

Back home, Alex couldn’t stop talking about his trip. Tess was the only one who shuddered. All she could think of was the high jumps those animals made and how frightened she had been. As far as she was concerned, the fact that Isabel didn’t make her go back, showed how fine a lady the king’s sister actually was.

Liz was, likewise, enthralled with the stories Alex told especially about the crater and the ruined cities. She, also, was interested in the farming the two caretakers were doing. This was one question she wanted solved in a trip about the planet. How did they get their food supply and what was the population like, away from the cities? The surprise was Maria. Maria was the last anyone expected to want to do something dangerous. “Those beasts sound like fun, maybe, like roller coasters. I mean,” she amended, “it is just a thrill; nobody falls out of the saddles or anything do they?”

Everyone looked at Isabel. “No, Maria, I haven’t ever heard of anyone falling out of the saddles. I think you would have to be doing something stupid for that to happen.”

“That is what I mean; people who stand up in roller coasters deserve their fate. Act properly and enjoy the experience,” Maria stated.

Liz wondered how Maria knew so much about such things. Liz had never had any time for such entertainments. Well, the members of the arts community did many different things and Liz was happy that her friend had these apparent happy memories.

“Maybe, Max and Michael could go with us next time and take Liz and Maria,” Alex said excitedly.

No one saw the thoughtful expression that appeared on Isabel’s face at this conversation.

--------------------

The date of the gathering, or war games as Liz thought of it, was approaching and Tess as going over her notes with Liz. “Let’s see, Max will be escorted by both you and Maria. No way will Michael or Kyle be back by that time. Alex will be escorted by Isabel and me. You wanted your commando squad to attend, so I matched them up with Alex’s squad. That almost gets it all together,” Tess informed Liz.

“I want Serina there, but I don’t want her exposed to anything of either party from Antar Four,” Liz stated.

“With your permission, I can take care of that, Tess said.

Liz raised her eyebrows, “How so?” she asked.

“Serina asked me to get your permission to be escorted by a soldier in Kyle’s commandos. In fact as soon as she builds up her courage, she wants to ask you if she can see him socially. His name is Diego and according to Serina he is sort of a mystic,” Tess explained.

“Sort of a mystic. Humm… Max is looking for a person like him. Maybe, I should arrange to talk to both of them after this gathering,” Liz said. Then she addressed what Tess had originally asked, the permission, “Of course, she can have the escort of her choice. There is no danger for her going with someone in Kyle’s commandos, but if she wishes to take this further, I do wish she would talk with me. Max, also, wants to talk to a mystic for reasons of his own.”

As expected, there was a large contingent from Antar Four. Antar’s relationship with this planet made almost every activity on one planet, effect the other. King Theo, from Krout’s Planet, would want to know how his “daughter” was doing so Liz did arrange for Lila to be present. Liz felt that Lila was too young to be thrown into the lions of society, so without escort and wearing the golden bracelet of slavery, it was felt that no one would try to entice her. The king still held great power.

Since Isabel was hosting this gathering, Liz saw the reality closer than ever before. She had always wondered about the lack food and drink she observed, but now, as they prepared she learned the reason. The real fear of poison was very strong. Each political group brought their own food and drink and that was heavily guarded throughout the event. Liz saw that this also, limited the amount of intoxication any of the delegates could achieve. Antarians and related races had an aversion for alcohol, but they had their own form of intoxicant, that they consumed when they wanted to loosen up. To Liz this brought back the question of whether Rulian was intoxicated when she attacked her that time long ago? No matter what her family said, Liz didn’t believe Rulian (now Serina,) had acted alone.

When the king’s delegation arrived, it was quite a large party. Max led the way with Liz on one side and Maria on the other. They were followed by Alex escorting Isabel and Tess. The five members of Liz’s commando squad cleaned up nicely with the help of the two fury creatures of female magic. It had taken some practice to wear the medium heels of ladies dress shoes. They were quite a difference from combat boots. They were wearing gowns chosen by Isabel. Their escorts were dressed in black cargo pants and tight black tee shirts. Of course being in excellent physical condition, these tight shirts caused quite a stir. Serina entered, escorted by Diego. Serina, like all the women of the family, was dressed in clothes chosen by Isabel, but Max had insisted that Diego wear a formal suit like the other men in their party and not be dressed as a commando.

The last time, Rulian’s trial had been the topic of conversation. This time, it was the rogue space pirates. “With the help of the monarchy we have built up our home guard. Those surplus ships the king sold us are still hands and heads above anything the pirates have.”

“We see any of those piirate ships hanging around, and we get word to the king immediately.”

“True, but if home guard takes them down, we keep the spoils.”

“Their fight is with the king. These pirates haven’t done anything to us, why do we have to take on the king’s fight? Let him patrol and if we gain from the pirates, that is our business.”

“Have you forgotten Daegon Six? The monarchy left that planet a molten rock. Play loose with the pirates if you want, but do it at your peril.”

“We asked the king to clean up a problem on Krout’s Planet. When he was through, he left us most of the slaves and the crew. Of course, we hung the officers and captain. The slaves the monarchy took were mostly children and a few adults to care for them.”

“What’s the king got against those pirates, anyway?”

“Right now, they are plundering a dying Earth. When that source runs out, then, Alpha Six has a good population and no home guard. Let the pirates get strong enough and none of our population will be safe.”

--------------------

There was another series of conversations going on. Max had assigned some of his men to monitor it. Diego had collected a number of interested diplomats. “So you are saying that we have no free will?”

“No, I am saying that if we are aware, there are forces which can guide and help us along.”

“Do you have any examples?”

“Yes. Look at Antar Four.” There were several Antar Four representatives in the group. “For a millennium, Antar Four was ruled by two families. They squabbled and feuded with each other not caring about their people. Now, a new faction has risen and they are pledged to work with the monarchy to build their world. It has been suggested that the golden slave girl of the king’s second wants to build a college of music on Antar Four. Given a few others joining, they might someday have a center of fine arts, Music, drama and graphics. Antar Four might even become a center of arts for the galaxy.”

“This is all fine, but where do you see any guiding hand?”

“A girl who failed in her education was sold into slavery. Her Earth education was enhanced by Antarian help and she was given to the king’s second. A girl from one of the remaining families of power on Antar Four was pushed into a confrontation with the king’s assistant. Her affront became treason. Humilities of either being sent to pleasure houses on the rim or execution were tempered by the king’s assistant applying what she had learned on Earth, brought her into the king’s family. There is even more for her to do in the future. That is a lot of things coming together for just chance. It is easy to think that, maybe, some things are meant to be.”

“Do you think we all have destinies?”

“If we do, I don’t have the ability to see them. I just try to do what is in front of me. I try not to let fear stop me from following my heart. For my self, I think we live destinies rather than follow them. If we follow anything it is a very gentle guidance.”

This would go down as being quite a gathering. You could talk about the encroaching problem of the rogue space pirates or you could talk about some spiritual guidance, its existence and importance.

Isabel with the help of Maria had planned a little relief from the deep and serious talks. Her golden dress shining in the spotlight her legs clad in golden hose, Maria stood before the group. “I have been asked to sing songs of many lands. Songs from The monarchy I understand very well. Songs from my homeland, alas, I have no one to teach me the meanings of the words. They are pure emotion. I save them because someday, I will learn the meanings of the words and then, I will have to songs to share with my new home. Except for the danger it places on Michael, I have no interest in politics. I belong to Michael and I go where he tells me. Recently, we have been living almost as much on Antar Four as here on Antar. So I guess I can dedicate these songs to my people on Antar Four. This provoked cheers and applause. Maria started off with her Gaelic songs and progressed to the simple French songs she had learned on Earth. Soon, Maria changed the mood and she was singing songs that were popular on Antar and much of the galaxy. Her skill had grown so strong that when she began to sing songs she had written in the manner, which Max had said was the music of Antar, few people noticed. When the concert was over, Maria was almost mobbed by “her people” all wanting to touch the golden singer.

-----------------------

Michael and Kyle had returned. Kyle guessed they had been successful. He had contracted over a hundred men from many places on Earth. He had started in what used to be Mexico and Central America. The men he hired were not huge physical specimens, the average height was only about one and a half meters, but they had heart and they would fight for the brand. That is what Isabel had asked for when she first confronted Kyle. They had fought for centuries, first, the enchroching Spanish, then, the Mexican and local government and finally, the blue helmets of the United Nations Peacekeepers. Kyle promised them a home and a government who would support them if they were willing to fight for the brand.

Then, there were the men from Africa, tall and dark, men who the colleges used to recruit for track stars and basketball players. They had made the jump from the Iron Age to the modern age. Revolution after revolution had hardened them. Now, all they wanted was stability. No more rape and pillage back and forth, just a place for their families to live in peace.

There were the Orientals. The major governments of the area had always controlled and waged war against many of the tribes who didn’t fit. These men were small of stature, but much like the Latinos, they came from generations of fighting. The one-world government had only promised them suppression. Kyle was promising freedom. Of course, all these men brought their immediate families.

Michael had, likewise directed his slave raids to gather soldiers from many different cultures. The slaves Michael had collected were all fairly well trained, so he turned them over to a regiment of Antarians. They would be trained in supporting the Antarians against the disrupters.

Soldiers sign up to fight for bread and butter. After they become a cohesive unit, they fight for each other. Michael and Kyle had coached the Antarians to use the term “slaves” as little as possible. They explained the language problem and as soon as the new armies became comfortable with each other, they went on patrols as a unit, with ultra protection against the disrupters.

“Hey, Jackie, they gave us laser guns, but these out of our world people have their own power system. I am not sure what we are supposed to do.”

“I didn’t know either until we were out at what they call the rim. We had cornered a group of pirates. The chief honcho wanted to kill pirates, but not hurt the cargo. A good thing too, because the ship was full of little girls. We had the pirates on the run and mostly out of the ship. The out-worlders were burning them left and right. We would get in a shot or two, but mostly we were backup. Then, it hit. This maverick comes out and he has this gizmo on his chest. Our new buddies fall like wild apples. Pretty soon, it is only us Earthies who are standing. We charge this guy and rough him up a bit. He has this thing tied to his chest so we just pounds it to scrap without trying to remove it. Soon our buddies wake up and they join us. They, immediately, turn this yahoo into dust and it is all over. Later, one of them tells about some sort of gizmo device that actually almost killed the sister of the king.”

A third man chimed in. “Did you see those ‘Angels of Mercy?’ I got burned pretty bad and two Antarians grabbed me and before I knew it, I was back in the ship. This chick dressed all in white comes over to me and looking into my eyes, she does something. Damned if I know what she did, but my burns started to disappear and within a day I was almost well. I asked this Antarian who I am teaching how to play poker and he says, ‘You guys are so expensive that we don’t want to waste a single day of work from you. That lady whom you call a ‘chick’ was a minor royal princess and a healer. She was pretty good at what she does, que no?’ Hey they are getting almost as good at Earth slang as we are with formal Antarian.”
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

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ken_r
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Re: Apocalypse, CC, mature, ch 24, pg14, May 19, 2014

Postby ken_r » Tue May 27, 2014 11:03 am

begonia9508:

Roswelllostcause:

keepsmiling7:


Chapter 25

Kyle was working with his contractees. The soldiers who Michael had impressed were much better trained than the wild men Kyle had picked up. “Tess, I have to lick each bully in every bunch, personally.” Tess was working on the bruises on Kyle’s body. Kyle purposely kept any knowledge about the Angels of Mercy away from his new recruits. Let them think that Kyle was some kind of miracle man, impervious to pain and suffering. They could get some of the same when they were fighting for the king. Fighting against Kyle, they would have to suffer their lumps.

No one was happier than Tess when Kyle told the king that he needed to keep working on his troops and he needed Tess to stay and help him. Max had decided that he would grant Alex’s wish, of course, with a lot of pressure from Isabel. The six of them would take out two days and visit the styla. Truthfully, Max missed the long conversations he had with the graceful animals. The styla were extremely opinionated, but they formed their opinions from different rules than did people. Of course if he thought about it, the long flights high in the air as they coursed across the plains brought back excited moments from his youth. Max didn’t miss the suggestion that Isabel thought the styla had some wisdom to offer the king’s family.

Liz was glued to the window as they flew over so much of Antar. This is what she had been asking Max to do for some time. She felt that to advise him, she needed to know more about the physical planet.

From that altitude, she saw some burned out circles. She would have to ask Max about these later. Liz was learning that the time now in the monarchy was relatively peaceful. That was not true of all recent Antarian history, recent to a planet as old as this one was in the last thousand years. In the far distance, Liz cold see what she took for mountains. They were in the direction the transport was headed.

Their air transport landed and they all piled into a ground lorry. Unlike the small transport taken by Isabel and Alex, the present transport had to land at a formal airport. The trip overland was rough, but for Liz, it was one mystery after another. The dry barren land gave way to meadows of grasslands. They soon entered a compound in which they found a main lodge and several out buildings. A man and woman were waiting for them at the main house.

“Max, Michael, come here and let me look at you,” were the first words out of Serisa’s mouth. Max and Michael endured many embarrassing hugs from Serisa until they were rescued by Eban. Then, it was handshakes, arm grabs and many back slaps as he, also, extended his heart felt greeting. When they came to Isabel, even though it had not been that long ago since she and Alex had been here, it was hugs all around.

When they came to Maria, Serisa held Maria’s hands for several seconds. “And now, we have the golden lady who controls the heart of the king’s second. A legend in your own time, Maria; it is an honor to meet you,” Serisa said.

Maria was a triffle uneasy at the complements piled upon her. Again, her bracelet clearly told all that she was a slave, but these two people, very dear to the king, were claiming it to be an honor to meet her. Maria mumbled something, she was so confused that she didn’t remember what it was.

When they came to Liz, Serisa stated, “Elizabeth, all the stories are true, I see that you are the one and to think we had to go all the way to Earth to find both you and the golden lady.”

This had been almost the first time since she had arrived on Antar that someone had referred to Liz by her formal name. Liz spoke in true formal fashion. “It is an honor for me to meet someone who is so dear to my adopted family.”

Serisa turned to Max. “Max, she has beauty, brains and a golden tongue. What more can you ask?”

Liz saw, that for some reason, this conversation with Serisa embarrassed Max greatly. Liz counted it up to her difficulty of completely understanding the Antarian language.

“Are the styla ready? We want to get to the mountains and back before the danger comes out,” Isabel said.

Liz did pick up on the word danger. She wondered, the way Isabel said it, it had something to do with the late afternoon. Izzy had told her that they would have a late lunch in the cool shade of the mountains seen in the distance. A land transport would take several hours getting to the range that Liz saw in the distance. Liz would have to wait and see.

“Maria, Elta has stated she wants you to ride her on this trip,” Isabel said.

Maria had a riding suit very much like that of Isabel. Liz was sure that Michael had asked Isabel to outfit her. Liz was wearing tight riding pants, but she wore her combat boots and that seemed agreeable with Isabel’s fashion sense. Isabel said the words that none of the rest of them had yet learned and Elta knelt down letting Michael help Maria into the saddle.

“Whoooo peeeee!” Maria exclaimed as Elta stood. The cry was not warranted as Maria fit into the saddle like a glove. Now that she was thinking again, the analogy to the roller coaster came back to mind. If she didn’t do anything stupid, she would be perfectly safe.

Next was Liz. “Her name is Kralta,” Isabel said as she helped Liz into the saddle of the kneeling creature. There were four other styla which Isabel, Alex, Max and Michael all climbed aboard. After instruction about the hand grips at the base of the horns, they were off. For a few minutes, they trotted at an amazing gait. It was so smooth that neither Liz nor Maria had any idea of what was to happen.

“Maria, are you ready?” a voice sounded from somewhere.

Maria must have said yes, someway. After the first flight, Maria had no idea of anything. Maria was screaming. “Weeeeee haaaa oooh myyyyyy,” escaped from her lips. A look at her face showed not fear, but ecstasy at the experience.

The mighty bounds were distance grabbing. Now, Liz knew how they were going to get to the mountains. A ground transport on perfectly smooth terrain might have kept up with the six styla, but Liz doubted it. Over the rough grassy plains, almost nothing could touch them.

It was about an hour until they arrived in the cool mountains. For the first time since she had arrived on Antar, Liz had the feeling that she was smelling rain or at least a mist or something. For the second time, Alex was determined that as soon as he could, he would invent sandwiches for the Antarians. Nobody could understand the comfort of a strong grip on a burger filled with all sorts of condiments.

Isabel had handed out bags of feed to give to their styla. As Maria took hers she felt a push in her back and turned to see Elta. “Maria, let’s go over by that rock to eat. I need to talk to you,” was heard in Maria’s mind.

The tall animal knelt down and Maria sat, leaning against the styla’s body. Apparently the styla could eat and carry on mental conversations at the same time. As Maria opened the small wicker basket that Isabel had given her to take out the small selection of some sort of meat and several fruits, she again heard, “Maria, you are a great lady.”

“I thought styla were supposed to know everything and be very smart. I am just a simple slave girl from Earth. I do what I am told and go where I am led. I don’t see how I could ever be a great lady,” Maria said with a bit of bitterness.

“Maria, we do know almost everything and I am considered smart even among my own kind,” The soft voice in Maria’s head said. “Is being a simple slave girl what you always wanted?” the voice continued.

“No, of course not. I was taken from my school and sold by politicians running the school. I wanted to be a great singer and song writer,” Maria answered.

“What is it to be a great singer and song writer?” the voice asked.

“To entertain hundreds of people and have them enjoy my songs,” Maria replied.

“Only hundreds, then I guess the millions who subscribe to your music on Antar Four don’t count,” the voice said.

“Millions, I didn’t know that! That is what I mean, I have no control over my career,” Maria said.

“Maria, few people have total control over their lives, much less their careers,” the voice said.

“Do you understand what I went through being brought here? They used me as a common whore on the slave ship,” Maria said angrily.

That was bad for you, I am sure, but even that experience contributed to what you can have now. Remember yourself when you went to that first midshipman? Could that girl have stood before the king’s second and answered his question of what else she could do with, “We won’t know until we try?” the voice explained.

“I don’t know,” Maria replied.

“The king’s second was not looking for an innocent virgin. He needed someone who could help him in his problems, at that time in his life. He would have found it difficult to worry about the problems of another. Antar gave you music and writing lessons, but remember on Antar nothing is free. There has to be a price and what you did on that ship was the price demanded from you.” The voice explained.

“What does any of this to do with me being a great lady?” Maria asked.

“You were told by your mentor on the slave ship that there were ways you could rise to greatness. The only requirement was that you had to survive to find them. The king’s sister said, ‘If you want, you can use your relationship to help rule this world.’ At that time, you even thought about ruling a world standing beside the second. Don’t think of yourself as a slave girl. That is just a legal definition of you being here. Start thinking of standing beside Michael and, maybe, you will rule a world by his side,” The voice stated.

“How do you know so much detail about my life?” Maria asked.

Maria, it is all in your mind. I retrieved it, added commentary and fed it back to you,” the voice said.

Maria leaned against the styla and looked up at the sky. For the first time, she seemed to see to infinity. If she so decided, maybe, the sky was infinite. It wasn’t all about her physical condition, but more about her mental condition, the way she felt about her self.

Isabel called them all to prepare to leave. “I could stay here for days,” Maria remarked.

Michael laughed. “Not hardly, lover. There is a beast, which is the most savage in the universe. It only comes out at night, but you don’t want to ever meet one. If you don’t think of your self, then, think of the styla. One of them would seldom have a chance against such a beast.”

That was the first time Michael had called her lover in public. Maria remembered the first time she referred to him as her lover and she was afraid she might have over stepped some protocol of her position. It was nice to hear him say the words among his family and friends and say it so casually. Soon they were all mounted up and the exhilarating experience back to the lodge was repeated.

The time before, Isabel had taken Alex outside to see the stars from Antar. Alex was insisting that Liz and Maria have the same experience. Isabel was lecturing and explaining what they would be seeing when Serisa approached her. Serisa whispered something in Isabel’s ear and Isabel immediately turned to Max. “Please take over for me. I have been summoned to a conference with the styla, Elta. Serisa handed Isabel a sack of dried flowers. “When you are visiting a lady, always remember flowers are appreciated. Elta prefers hers dried and chopped up.

The rest of the party walked outside. The sight did take their breaths away. On Earth resting in the arm of the spiral galaxy, other galaxies were only really seen by telescope. Here the whirlpool galaxy was taking a considerable space in the sky. The rest of the sky was so close, it looked like they were going to fall into Antar any minute. “They probably will eventually hit Antar, but not for a few million years,” Max explained.

The sky was so beautiful, but the night noises were hideous. There were roars, growls and screams as the creatures went on with living and dying outside the compound. The night sounds drove them inside long before they tired of the bright sky. Alex didn’t remember the noise being that bad when he and Isabel had been there.

-----------------------

“Sit beside me child, like you used to do,” Elta commanded. “Thank you for the flowers. If I ate as many as I could want, I couldn’t jump over a fence. Tomorrow will be my last time, for a while, flying across the plains. I want you to come again within a year and I should have a colt for you to spoil. If you do your part, you should have a little one for me to see, also. Young, innocent minds are so relaxing when first viewed. Tomorrow, I want the new queen to ride me. I need to learn about her. Yes, I know she isn’t sure that she will be the queen, but that is all right. I am not doubting your brother, but I like to form my own opinions.” Elta stated.

“That’s okay, I argue with him all the time and so does Liz. He politely listens and then, does what he wants anyway,” Isabel said.

“That is the way it should be child. You were born to be a thorn in his side, but it is good that the new queen tempers his thinking, also. The bloodline of the king runs thin. It is time to strengthen it. Your child will add to the royal line, although at this time, I don’t see it. Your children and the king’s children will be the new leaders of Antar. Antar is rebuilding and it has long needed to do this. Watch carefully the girl from Antar Four. I think she may well be the one who goes back to Earth. After their fall, Earth will need a lot of help.”

“Do you mean Tess or Serina?” Isabel asked.

“Tess has long lost any ties to Antar Four. The truth is she may never have had real ties to Antar Four. There is something cloudy in her past. She is now and forever part of the king’s family. Serina, if she proves an able student of Diego, should return with him, someday, to help guide Earth to return to its former position,” Elta said.

Are you sure that you are able to make the trip tomorrow? We could take other Styla if you prefer. The loss of a colt would be a tremendous loss for both your people and mine,” Isabel asked.

“No, I will be fine and I want to talk to the new queen,” Elta said. Both the styla and the king’s sister were getting tired. It would be an early start for everyone tomorrow.
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

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ken_r
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Re: Apocalypse, CC, mature, ch 25, pg14, May 27, 2014

Postby ken_r » Sat May 31, 2014 2:10 pm

begonia9508:

Riswelllostcause:

keepsmiling7

Chapter 26

“Today, Elta wants to talk to you,” Isabel said to Liz. Then Isabel said to the group. “We are going to see ruins and old things of Antar. We can’t get too close to the cities, as they are still hot with radioactivity. Please rely on the styla not to get too far apart.”

They did have a few giant leaps, but soon the excitement of riding styla gave way to interest in the strange sights. Liz hadn’t noticed that Elta had slowly moved away from the rest of the group. “Fate is so strange,” Liz heard in her mind.

“How so, Elta?” Liz asked.

“You and the golden singer were and are the best of friends. Look how such different paths took you to the same place. It was the paths you traveled that made the destinies you both live. If you had been presented to Michael, he would have rudely refused you, as he did the others. The king needed a virgin, someone who he could trust had no past to compromise his position. The king is not a soldier like Michael. The king doesn’t want someone to heal his soul or see him cry if he needs to. The king needs a lover who is also his closest friend. The king needs someone who will stand up to him, but ultimately will support him. You are a bit of Michael who is always loyal and a bit of Isabel who always reminds him of his place. That was what Isabel could never understand. Tess is of royal blood, but Tess was raised as a slave. She would have been as loyal as Michael, but she never could have stood up to the king even if she thought he was wrong. The king has told you a little of the search which found you. Even he doesn’t know the entire scope of this search. The search didn’t learn everything about you. You still have been giving them surprises such as organizing your female commandos,” the styla stated.

Liz knew that Tess was a princess of Antar Four, but the styla might have implied something else. “About this search, how much freedom did I have in what was done to me?” Liz asked.

The styla gave a snort, which Liz was to take for a laugh. “A lot more than your friend Maria. What if you had been afraid to approach the spacers recruitment? You were so frightened at what might have happened to you. If you had pushed a little harder, you could have landed the position as an advisor and concubine to one of the dons. The fact that you were understanding something about the futility of what the education system offered you was all your doing. I think the monarchy did convince one political slaver that art students might have more value as slaves than would science students.”

Liz gave a shudder. She had a great deal of sympathy for Maria and to think she might have suffered the same fate was very difficult. Maria had been a very strong woman to survive. Could Liz have done the same?

They topped a rise. Below for as far as she could see, there was a circular valley. “Is this the meteor crater that Alex was talking about? How long ago did this happen?” Liz asked.

“Thousands of years ago. Remember, our planet is very old compared to Earth. For many years after, there was considerable instability in the orbit of Antar. No one was stupid enough to try that one again. They graduated to atomics. That is what happened to the cities, which are too hot to visit. No one knows which side started the atomics. We do know that both sides suffered greatly from this. If Antar Four had been permitted to make a separate monarchy they might have challenged the monarchy of Antar and we would have been back on that same track. History will give you much of the credit for saving Antar and Antar Four on this one,” Elta said.

“Me the credit, how did I do that?” Liz asked.

“The way you changed Rulian into Serina and defused any challenge in her sentence and punishment. Not many queens, through history, would have done this,” Elta remarked.

The other styla were scattered about the plains. Maria on another styla was still thrilled about the magnificent leaps so high in the air. Her enthusiasm was easily captured by the styla she was riding. It was not often that they had riders who had so much fun. Alex and Isabel were riding on a hill crest as they looked at ruined cities. “These cities were so large. Are there any major cities like them on Antar now?” he questioned.

“No, Alex,” Isabel answered. “After the last atomic attack, the population went into a depression. Birth rates are very low, now. There are younger planets under younger suns, which have great cities. They didn’t live through what we did. The strength and wisdom of the monarchy still resides on Antar. More and more commerce is imported from other places in the monarchy. The stability of the house of Zander has been the principle factor for the monarchy continuing. The last challenge was the attempt on Antar Four to establish a monarchy to rival ours,” Isabel explained.

Michael had stopped to talk to Max. When he looked up and saw Maria missing, he figured he better find her before she broke that golden neck. Max was trying to keep track of everyone, but soon he decided he really ought to be closer to Liz. At his word, his styla turned to where he knew Elta was walking and talking to the new queen, even if at this time, Liz didn’t agree that she was.

Elta was taking Liz for a ride along the edge of the crater. Storms on Antar were infrequent, but violent. The edges of the crater were eroded into many gullies. As they leaped over one gully, Liz saw something sticking out of the side. The metal was of the sort, which didn’t seem to suffer corrosion. Liz was sure, even in that quick look, that there was writing on the metal piece. “Stop, Elta, let me get down on the ground,” Liz commanded.

The styla slowly knelt and as Liz slid off her back, Elta said, “Hurry Liz. I sense danger somewhere.”

Liz climbed to the side of the gully and began pulling at the piece of metal. Now, up close, Liz was sure that there was writing on it. Once again, she heard the styla call, “Hurry, Liz, I don’t like this place.”

The soil gave up its hold on the metal piece and Liz fell backwards as it came loose. The symbols were not familiar to Liz. She had studied most of the modern languages of the monarchy, but this piece of metal was unfamiliar. “Liz, run!” the mental voice of the styla rang out.

Liz looked up and saw a sight from the depths of hell itself. There were almost no free running animals on Earth when Liz was a child. The educational system did offer studies of animals in the past. At first glance, Liz thought of an Earth animal called the rhinoceros. Now, although extremely ugly, many people had said that the rhinoceros was the pattern for the legend of the unicorn. The rhinoceros was an herbivore. It ran and moved much like a horse or maybe a buffalo, another extinct wild animal from Earth. This thing was like a cat. Its legs were sprung so that it could pounce in an instance. Its upright ears swiveled constantly to catch any sound. Its eyes were small and set far back in its head. When it opened its mouth to bellow, it didn’t have jaws like predators from Earth. Its whole mouth was a single muscle, the inside lined with thousands of spikes. Liz recalled a creature called a lamprey eel. It sucked its sustenance from its victims.

The greatest surprise was the voice in her mind. “Run along, little queen. Today, I only want your styla. I am old and this will be my last mate and the last litter I can sire. I must prove that I can still bring home food,” the voice said.

“Liz, run. The whompus only wants me,” another voice screamed in her mind. “Liz, you are to be the queen. Don’t waste that. Antar needs you,” the styla’s voice said.

Liz slowly rose up from where she had fallen. She slowly pushed her body forward to rise on her knees. From there she carefully rose keeping her right hand hidden.

The king had given Kyle free reign in what and who he made his contracts with. Kyle was looking for hand-to-hand fighters. He found men in Mexico and Central America who had fought off the drug lords. Many of them lived primitive lives, but when offered something better for themselves and their families, they jumped at the chance. Kyle had spent some time in what used to be the orient. He hired fighters from many disciplines. Fighters were not all Kyle was seeking. Among many other skills, Kyle hired metal smiths from what was once called Japan. Antar was almost void of large metal deposits, but they were bringing in iron from the stars. Asteroid mining was a whole new type of prospecting.

The knives Kyle had ordered to be made had a very hard layer in the middle and thick strong softer layers on each side. Razor sharp was a misnomer and great understatement. Liz was presented with one of the first from his production.

They fought hours with flexible plastic knives. Then Kyle brought in wooden ones. The plastic could sting when a thrust or a slice got through your guard, but the wooden ones added to the many other bruises of training. “Liz, you are spending a lot of time in this training, so I don’t ever want to hear of you not carrying your weapon. Ankle holsters, thigh holsters and sitting on the night stand when you and Max are making love, the training is only good if the knife is with you,” her memory of Kyle sang out.

As Liz stood, she automatically drew the knife out of her boot top. “If you are fighting close in, the edge is always up. Thrust with your arm and yank up with your knees. If the enemy is charging you then the blade is forward. Let his weight and momentum impale himself on your weapon. The same if the enemy is approaching from above. Liz, almost all creatures are tender where they live, their bellies and where they have sex. Try to not fight with turtles,” all of what Kyle taught her flashed through her head. The creature intended to leap so Liz adjusted her stance to what she thought Kyle would have wanted.

“Liz run,” again she heard the styla scream.

“If I am to be queen, I don’t want to start by running when my people are in danger,” Liz answered the styla.

“Liz, you don’t have a chance,” Elta stated.

“Of course I don’t have a chance. Kyle always said that is when you hope to get lucky. ‘Luck be with the lady tonight.’ Somewhere I remember that song from my music history class,” Liz said.

Liz was now standing in front of the styla, her knife held in both hands and one foot back to give her balance as the gleaming blade reached to the heavens its deadly edge facing the … what did the styla call it? Oh, yes, the whompus. The creature prepared to spring and as it gathered itself to spring, Liz saw that Kyle was right. Most animals, where they live and have sex are tender. Liz didn’t know if either of them would live through this, but that creature wasn’t going to brag about bringing food to its mate and cub.

The whompus leaped and Liz knelt to give herself a spring to leap up to meet the under-belly of the beast.

Before the whompus could connect with either Liz or Elta, a thundering sound was heard. The leaping Alt, with Max holding to his mane, Alt’s head down and his horns pointing forward, crashed with the whompus. Liz wasn’t sure what a bull styla weighed, but she was sure in her Earth mind that it must be several tons. In Max’s free hand, he was holding the second of Kyle’s knifes.

As the mighty Alt pinned the thrashing beast, Max vaulted off his back and quickly cut its throat. With a terrible scream, the whompus died.

The rest of the riders rode in and dismounted. The styla were very concerned for Elta’s health. Max, although covered with blood, was worried about Liz. “What were you thinking, facing that thing with only a knife?” he shouted as he held her close.

“Max it was my fault that we had stopped and the styla was kneeling. Max, I am not going to place my personal safety in front of what I see as duty. Beside that, Kyle always says that when things are the worst, maybe, you can get lucky. I surely was lucky today,” Liz answered.

Max was still shaking his head. Those charged with finding him a mate who had many powerful traits had certainly exceeded themselves. “Okay, then what the hell were you doing on the ground placing your styla in danger?” Max asked.

“The importance, now, fades with all the trouble I have caused, but Max, look at this piece of metal. These markings were not in anything the Antarians taught me. I don’t know what it was, but I think it might be important,” Liz explained.

Max’s immediate anger quickly faded. “That is a vane off a missile guidance system. I don’t know what the writing is, but I am sure it is very old. Probably over a thousand years old. Missiles haven’t fallen on Antar in recent times. This doesn’t forgive your recklessness, but you are right, it might be very important,” Max stated. Then, he looked up at the setting sun of Antar. “We better get back to the lodge before more of those whompus things come out.” Max had allowed them most of the second day so Liz could see the past of Antar.

They had intended to leave late that afternoon. Max was more concerned, than what Liz thought at first, about the piece of metal. He made several calls from the communicator at the lodge. The talks were all in private and Max shooed everybody else out of the room where he was sitting.

“Liz, the styla are very worried. You see Elta is with colt. It is to be born sometime next year. The styla don’t breed very often and this is an event for all of them. The styla know that they are very expensive to keep. They have selectively limited their own numbers, because being friends and companions for the royal houses and rich barons, is their only purpose, at this time. Few houses can afford to keep them. A few like those here work with Eban in raising karaks, those things you saw running in the distance. Styla are not from Antar, nobody remembers where they came from. Their genetics are completely different from Antarians or almost any other sentient race in the monarchy,” Isabel explained.

Liz sat for several minutes then she asked, “Where does the whompus come from? They seem to have intelligence and they, like the styla, can read our minds to an extent.

“They were brought to Atar about two thousand years ago. They were part of a biological attack on Antar. They are nocturnal, so we only have to contend with them if we are caught out unexpected at night. The one we killed today was very old. I assume his night vision was going. They are very dangerous. You and Max were both lucky this time,” Isabel said.

Max came back from his phone conferences. “We must be ready to leave early tomorrow. Every one feels that it is too dangerous to fly out of here tonight. That find of Liz’s is now declared classified. No one yet is sure what it means, but ideas are flying around that it might prove to be very embarrassing to some of our allies. You know, yesterday’s enemy is today’s best friend,” Max said.

Liz noticed that he looked very tired. She knew that she had worried him, but there was something else, probably related to that piece of metal she had found. This time when they all went out to look at the night sky, Liz shuddered as she heard the night noises. She asked herself, “How far did those creatures range? What kept them outside the lodge compound?” Liz was sure that a whompus could easily leap almost any fence.

“There are hot electric wires strung all about the fence perimeter. Any thing the size of a whampus triggers them. The wires confuse anything coming close and if something tries to bull its way through the wires, by the time it hits the fence, it is already dead. The electric power is deadly.” Max had explained

--------------------------------

The air transport was in and the party was ready to leave when Isabel announced that there would be a delay. The king was commanded to attend a conference with the styla. The wit and knowledge of the styla were not to be ignored by any, no matter what their positions.
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

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Re: Apocalypse, CC, mature, ch 26, pg 15, May 31, 2014

Postby ken_r » Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:36 pm

begonia9508: I learned long ago to never doubt what a small statured person can do

Roswelllostcause:

keepsmiling7:

Natalie36:


Chapter 27

“Thank you, your highness,” the styla began. “I know there is concern about you making Liz your queen. I advise you to wait no longer. Liz has something that is rare. She is responsible. There are not many who do not know the styla, who would put themselves in front of danger like she did yesterday. Antarians of great houses might understand the collected knowledge of my race, but Liz didn’t care what I could give to her. She only knew that she was responsible and she would do anything to stand in the way of danger. All she would say when I told her to run was, ‘We might get lucky.’ It has been my observation that people like Liz make their own luck.”

That would be on Max’s mind during the trip home. It was even more of immediate importance than the mysterious lettering on the metal. The writing might be one of the first indications as to who was really the enemy during that last great war. For sometime, they blamed everything on Antar Four. Their might be other players endangering the monarchy

----------------------

Kyle was greatly interested in their stories of the herds of karaks. “Max, I recruited three groups of what we might have called cowboys in times before ‘Enlightenment.’ I was interested in their uses of weapons and their independent spirit. Sending a delegation of them to this Eban fellow might allow your protein production to greatly increase. These men are from what used to be called the west in the old United States, the Pampas of Argentina in what used to be South America and from a small continent called Australia. These men all approached the raising of herd animals in different fashions. They, also, had a history of dealing with predators. I would like to talk to some geography experts about conditions on Antar and how they might be modified. What Isabel said about the styla purposely limiting their birthrate sounds like they understand that everything on Antar must have a job. Several trained bull styla might be used to guard and husband, with the help of, trained riders, vast herds of these karaks. I can’t promise anything, but it might be an idea to fly by this Eban fellow.”

Max nodded as he listened to Kyle. Kyle had already shaken up the metal industry, especially that of hand crafted things. Maybe he could do the same to the meat raising industry. That was one of the things that concerned the king. Antar needed food and jobs. The first job was to increase the food supply. Then that would allow more industry, especially industry not done by robots. This would give more purpose to the Antarians and maybe, spread to other parts of the monarchy.

---------------------

Maria, now was even more determined to be that great lady both Serisa and the styla had said she was. After her master, Michael, and her best friend Liz, Maria was closest to the slave girl Michael had brought home. Annie was still a teen and Michael had convinced Maria that his only intention was to let Maria oversee her training. Maria settled down to create a galaxy class singer. Annie, Maria and the professor were in conference. Maria just called him sir or professor. He was from a very old Antarian family. The name that he always gave was rife with syllables and consonants which Isabel explained was the old way Antarians were named. The syllables all stood for events and personages in his history. Earlier with Antarians giving names like this, they introduced the individual and his whole background. The professor, seemed to be satisfied with Maria’s need to shorten his name as she did. Maria could well see why the royal family turned to vocation or social position and some simple first name. “Maria, my dear, you have the king’s ear and the people of Antar Four’s heart. Why not go all the way? It is clear that the king wants Antar Four to develop some community pride and not be so wrapped up in the individual families. Let’s establish a whole university for the arts,” the elderly man said with glee. “Children can, once again, be coveted for the dreams they can accomplish.”

Soon, Maria would follow Michael back to Antar Four. She would take Annie with her, along with dreams of establishing her school.

---------------------

Liz informed Max that she wanted a tour of Antar proper. Max formed a party of Isabel, Alex, Kyle and Tess to accompany her. Liz made it clear that she didn’t want any pomp with the tour. She wanted to meet and talk with citizens the world over. The king’s sister would take care of protocols , along with Liz’s five commandos for security. Alex would accompany Isabel and discuss any legal issues that might come up.

They had visited several vegetable farms and for the most part, they worked like the official Antarian Tourist Board said they would; that is, if there was Antarian Tourists Board. They seemed to be family run and they consisted of the primary family, slaves from many different worlds and several contractees who over saw the farm. The slaves were healthy and most of them had families. They had schools where all the children of the farm attended with hopes of learning skills that would keep them on the job market. Liz looked carefully at the structure of the schools. Different from earth, the Antarian schools were really concerned with students graduating so they could become citizens of Antar. Liz saw a parallel with the schools on Earth with one exception. On Antar, they really did try to insure that their students learned. Citizen or slave, it was necessary for all to find protection under one of the three stations of Antar, that is, to be skilled and able to hold a contract, be in a family that was willing to support you and felt you had value to that family or to be indentured and managed during your life. Many of the off-world slaves had voluntarily indentured themselves to get better lives from what they found on many of the poorer planets.

Isabel was going over her itinerary. “The Stogis farm is next on my list. This is a large farm which makes use of robotic and slave labor. They grow mostly green crops to sell in city markets.”

The Stogis family was a large extended family. Their many members all worked on different aspects of production. “It isn’t like stories of long ago. We produce and sell all we can. To grow bigger, we would need more workers and more land fit for agriculture. We constantly have to be looking out for ground water pollution, signs of radiation and any unforeseen depredations. That is things popping up that we do not expect. We have a few dams, which check for ground water radiation, several leagues up the runoffs. Thankfully, most of the chemical pollution has run its course. There’s insects, there’s the damned lizards and then, we still suspect sabotage from somewhere. The king keeps a constant patrol, but if the sabotage is already on the ground that won’t help. We are the biggest spread here about. There used to be that Lynalls outfit a few leagues out, but I heard they’s fallen on hard times and sold out.” The patriarch of the Stogis clan was explaining his operation.

Isabel and Alex would take advantage in the business talk of the farm while Liz and her commandos under the guidance of an Earth slave named Samuel would visit the actual running of the place. The Stogis are good people to work for. My pappy used to work on his own farm. After enlightenment, of course, the farms all became communes. They went to hell. The damned United Nations would send out college boys who excelled in reading a bunch of books, but didn’t know beans about the soil and the weather. A bunch of us were demonstrating against the World Government when someone pounced down and the next thing we knew, we were on a slaver. At first, conditions on that ship were rough. Now, it isn’t so bad. The Stogis family wants to grow crops and they don’t care how many books you have read. They want results. The wallopits are most of our labors and they are good people when you learn their strengths and weaknesses. Instruct them in what they are able to do and you couldn’t ask for better workers. Try to make them do something beyond their abilities, they all sit down and stare at the ground. I guess they would sit there until they died if you didn’t tend them,” Samuel said.

“Who or what are the wallopits?” Liz asked.

“You know, planets which develop two sentient races at the same time are very difficult. Sarks planet has two races, one much like the Antarians and a secondary people, the wallopits. The wallopits, not being as fast or as sharp as those like the Antarians. They do not have a happy history there. You land a slave ship there and you have to beat them off with a club. Here, they are happy they have work and they have care. They raise families with no interference. They work in heat I can’t stand and in ice storms I couldn’t function in. Work, homes, food and families, that is all they want. Learn how to use them and they return the favor in multiples,” Samuel explained.

They toured the deep water wells. “We still have to continually test for radiation. At one time, it was said that the entire underwater system was mapped and known. After the asteroid, too many things changed and they keep changing,” Samuel almost talked like a native.

He showed them the runoff drains. “These go all the way to the mountains. We would send crews along them to check, but that foul beast, the whompus, makes sending crew closer to the mountains too dangerous. The king sold the Stogis family a light air transport with military grade weapons. That helps when they wander down this way,” Samuel explained as he spit and shook his head. “We kill all them critters we can. They are a curse on folks living away from the city.

Liz met some of the wallopits families. She found them very shy and constantly turning to Samuel for protection. “I worked hard to earn their trust and I have to work hard to not loose it,” Samuel stated.

This was what Liz wanted to see. Samuel was a slave from Earth, but he looked at his position as a farmer as being given a chance to farm without the interference his father had lived with. The wallopits wanted a chance to work at the level they could function at and to have security for their homes and families. Liz doubted if they even questioned or understood the word “slave.” These were the ideal conditions that those at the king’s house always described.

The head of the Stogis household had mentioned another farm that was not as successful. The Lynall outfit was not registered, according to the office of the king. Who ever took over had not bothered to register with the king. Besides the obvious need of information for taxation, the monarchy kept records of various business for health and security. The land the Stogis family described was plotted on official maps, but there was no notation as to any business being run there. Stogis, himself said that the Lynalls were good people, but they had been gone many years. There was no notice of any other outfit operating there. This bothered Isabel so she asked Liz to have her commandos combat ready.

When the king’s transport announced their intention to land, there was hesitation. The first excuse was, “This is a secure facility and you can not be allowed to land.”

Isabel immediately took over. “This is the clone of the sister of the king. I am third in line to the throne. Our first contact was a courtesy. Now, I command you to stand down any defensive measures and allow us to land. Unless of course, you prefer that I call in the king’s second with his ship of the line to scrub your facility off the face of Antar.”

Liz looked at Izzy and saw someone she had never seen before. Isabel didn’t like the responsibility of command, but she was well trained to use it. Isabel turned to Liz and said, “Liz change to your combat uniform and prepare your troops. Alex and I will represent the king’s interest. You make sure that you and your troops are free to investigate any thing that spikes your interest. I understand that there are many Earth slaves here. Stogis suggested, that we need to be ready for any health problems. Liz, there is something that bothers me here. We have been trying to show you that your term ‘slave’ doesn’t translate to what we mean. Here we might find conditions closer to your definition than ours.”

Kyle led the five troops down the gangway to the ground. They immediately spread out into a skirmish line facing the men approaching from the main house. They were followed by Liz, in commando garb, then, Isabel and Alex dressed as they would for a diplomatic interview. Tess in a business suit holding a briefcase brought up the rear.

“What is the meaning of this invasion,” one man called out as he stepped forward.

Isabel spoke up, “I would hardly call it an invasion since this is Antarian open land.”

“We have our plot papers right here,” the man called out.

There was a minute then Tess opened her briefcase and pulled out a set of papers and handed them to Alex.

Alex stepped forward taking the papers from the man who seemed to be in charge. Everyone held their breath as Alex compared the farm’s claim with what Tess had gotten from the land commission. Alex looked up at Isabel and grimly said, “They are forgeries. Not very good ones either.”

They all saw the man in charge shudder. Apparently he was only a manager and some else was the boss. Isabel called out loudly so everyone nearby would hear. “You men are commanded to house arrest. Liz, dispatch two of your commandos to guard them. These men are to sit and any movement of raising their hands will be seen as an offensive move. Instruct your commandos to fire with extreme prejudice.” This last statement was for the benefit of the men and any who might be hiding nearby. The commandos knew about restraining Antarians and the danger of power blasts. Isabel turned to Alex. “Are these men Antarian?” she asked.

Alex shrugged. “I have no idea. We will have to administer a DNA test to determine. For the time being assume they are and act accordingly,” Alex stated.

Kyle and Liz, with the three remaining commandos started to check the other buildings. At Liz’s command, locks were blasted off the doors with their laser weapons. Liz felt like she had wandered into an nineteenth century horror story. Each building contained between six to ten occupants. Both men and women showed evidence of abuse. Isabel had assured Liz that Antarians did not abuse their slaves. Most of the slavery on Antar that Liz had been exposed to was more of a paternal nature where the slaves might have to follow orders, but their care was comparable to that of the rest of the family. True, the treatment of Serina was bad in the prison, but slaves of free families were treated fairly. Most of the slaves were from Earth. Liz couldn’t be sure, but she thought there were a few that did not have human traits. They were ordered out into the courtyard and ordered to sit on the ground. On examination, it was believed that several were diseased. That was serious on any planet. Plague was feared through out the galaxy. Any ship carrying disease could be forbidden landing at any port. Usually, when a ship was found to be diseased, some corporation would contract to cleanse the ship and take it and all that it held as a fair bounty. Allowing the landing of or the harboring of anyone with any disease was a capital offense. It would need to be investigated if these slaves had been landed with the disease or if they contradicted it from somewhere else.
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

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Re: Apocalypse, CC, mature, ch 27, pg 15, June 9, 2014

Postby ken_r » Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:33 am

Roswelllostcause:

begonia9508:

keepsmiling7:


Chapter 28

“Max, we need healing teams here soon. There could be an epidemic if we don’t catch it quickly. This is more than Isabel and Tess can handle alone, besides, we have received information about who runs this farm and information of something else a short distance away. Kyle would like his ten commandos transported before we tackle the next stop,” Liz explained over the communication line.

A communication, several hours later to Max from Isabel, “Max, Tess deep probed the freemen running the farm. Everything points to the third son of Lord Helios. From now on, it is a political problem. I leave it in your hands as what is best to do.”

The white robes of the Angels of Mercy mixed among the slave population. Isabel and Tess, now dressed as business women were interrogating the freemen. “That kid of Lord Helios, Tandy, set this up. He forged the papers, which gave us permission to set up the farm. He also, brought in the slaves from Earth and a sick lot they were,” the forman declared.

“What do you mean, sick alot,” Isabel inquired. “Did they come here sick or did they get sick later?”

“No, they were not sick at first. The slaver captain said that we would have to push them. They were captured from the middle of some city on Earth. They have almost no education and are used to commodity treatment. I don’t know if the captain purchased them from one of those politicians or if the captain and crew raided the city themselves. The captain was correct; they had to be forced to work and griped continually about their entitlements. I don’t think some of them ever understood that they were no longer on Earth,” the foremen said.

“How did you force them to work?” Isabel asked.

“Standard Antarian procedure if you don’t work, you don’t eat. We assigned them labors and made them stay out until the labor was finished. They would finally finish their assignments, but on returning they were not able to eat very well. They got sicker and sicker after that. We petitioned Tandy for further instructions, but he said just keep making them work until they learned their place,” the foreman related.

“The Stogis family have the farm nearest to yours. Did anyone think to inquire or ask for help?” Isabel asked.

“No, Tandy didn’t want anyone to know about our farm. He planned to grow some illegal plants imported from Earth. I don’t know which ones, but he did spend time back on Earth. They have a bunch of chemicals that do strange things to a body and mind,” the foreman stated.

“Grant Stogis told us that Earth slaves can’t work in mid-day or in extreme cold. His forman is an Earth man and he uses Wallopits to work when Humans can’t,” Isabel explained.

“Tandy Helios didn’t want to complicate this arrangement. He bought the Earthmen in a special deal from a space pirate and he didn’t want to go to the trouble of importing Wallopits legally. I don’t know where he made the deal with the space pirate, but they flew in here and off loaded the Earthies as fast as they could. Tandy bought mostly men. The rest of the women were taken to that other place. We don’t know much about it,” the foreman stated. It was clear that he was trying to cooperate to lessen his own possible guilt. Privately, Isabel doubted that there was little he could do. Max had little tolerance for anyone working with unlicensed space pirates. Letting his slaves get sick was against Antarian decency. It was also bordering on treason to the Antarian people. Letting an outbreak of any disease get started without notifying authorities could wipe the planet clean. Plagues were one of the most feared situations planet populations faced. A death sentence could be carried out without even approaching a court of law. Cleansing a plague could easily be looked at as self defense.

---------------------

Back at his office, Max was thinking. This sickness was either brought with them from Earth or caused by being overworked in conditions where humans couldn’t function. Maybe, just maybe, they brought their condition and the workings demanded by the farm ran their health down until that couldn’t fight off the disease. That would mean that somewhere out in space a contaminated ship might be plying the trade routs. In the whole universe, that was one of the most feared things. Max didn’t ask, but rather he commanded Lord Helios to come to his office. Max also called in several of the council to be present when he confronted Lord Helios.

“Your Lordship, I understand that your son, Tandy, has taken over land to farm without permit,” Max stated.

Lord Helios sighed deeply. Tandy had been a trial. His other two sons had worked in the family businesses and become respectable professionals. “I apologize for Tandy’s misdeeds. Tell me how I can make reparation for his transgressions?” Helios asked

“Were you aware that Tandy was negotiating with illegal pirates for traffic in slaves?” Max added.

Lord Helios sat up straighter. If Tandy kept this up, he would bankrupt the whole family. “No, I was not aware,” he stated.

“When a royal envoy stopped at his illegal farm, they found Tandy responsible for the abuse of his slaves. They also found that many of the slaves were sick from a, so far, unknown desease,” Max said.

This caused Lord Helios to really sit up and take notice. “Why didn’t he come to me when they got sick?” he asked.

Max shrugged. “I don’t know, but his foreman said that he believed Tandy was planning to raise illegal plants from Earth. Earth has many plants which cause strange effects when used by humans or Antarians.”

“How bad is this, really, Max?” Lord Helios asked.

“Very bad, I am afraid. Negotiating with non-registered pirates, importing slaves without any health check, abuse of personally owned slaves, introducing a possible plague to a planet population, use of public land without a permit, without any proof of the illegal raising of plants, he is looking at hard time on the rim. It may take all you have to keep him from execution. Your and his cooperation may make the difference,” Max stated formally. Lord Helios looked around at the council members and saw that the king had the least grim face of any of them. You raise your sons and some of them grow to make you proud. Then, there is that one who can bring down the whole family. Lord Helios knew that there was no way that Tandy could get off Antar. As long as Tandy was not in custody, even private ships would be carefully searched. It wasn’t much of a chance, but the only one held out by the king was for Tandy to cooperate.

---------------------------

Kyle’s ten commandos arrived accompanied by ten Antarian commandos. The Antarian health ministry had sent Angels of Mercy to tend to the workers at the farm. Liz had warned them that they might need more when they investigated the next place. The Commandos had arrived in a small battle ship and that is what they all took to where it was rumored that the pirate ship had left the women.

Behind Kyle’s commandos came Liz with her Amazons, the nickname they had taken. When they were all filed out, Isabel in robes with Alex in a uniform of the monarchy marched down the ramp. Tess brought up the rear, her arms filled with notebooks of information.

A lady stepped forth They saw that she was wearing an iron bracelet as a slave. She bowed slightly and said, “If your worships are seeking entertainment, I will prepare our girls. We are a bit short handed right now.”

“Who is your business manager?” Isabel asked.

The woman stumbled. “He is indisposed right now,” she replied.

Isabel raised her hand and several Antarians in Hazmat suits jogged down the ramp and pushing aside those at the entrance, they entered the building. They, were soon followed by the Angels of Mercy in the white robes.

--------------------------------

“Max, it is worse than I ever imagined. Someway this set up got started on our own home world. There are over 26 girls here and four men who appear not to be slaves. If this all translates to lord Tandy, then he started an illegal farm along with an unlicensed house of pleasure. None of the Earth slaves have been given any health exam or any benefit of health care. We may be sitting on a time bomb. Tess has one of the men tied up in a chair to keep him from falling. We are deep probing his mind. I agree this isn’t humane treatment for someone clearly sick, but our planet could be the next one quarantined or even blasted to oblivion. Sickness out here is so rare that any hint of an epidemic must be avoided.” Isabel sat back. Recently, their attention had been on Antar Four and the outer rim. When she got back, she and Max were going to have to discuss better patrol of home.

--------------------------

“Lord Helios, you and your son are commanded to appear at the office of the king immediately.” Demands like this were infrequent and not to be ignored.

When Lord Helios arrived with Lord Tandy, he was met in Max’s office by a security detail. Standing beside Max, as his assistant, was Lila. She was wearing a suit, much like Liz usually wore and she was carrying a notebook in her arms. Max had found her devotion to Liz a great help when Liz was absent from her office.

Max purposely snubbed Lord Helios. “Lord Tandy, you are charged with a myriad of charges too numerous to read. Your father and whoever is your lawyer will be given a complete list of your offenses. Almost all of the offences carry the death penalty. Your only recourse is to give us all the information we request. Naturally, your freedom will be forfeited.” Max leaned back as the security agents placed Lord Tandy in chains. Tandy was lead away and Max was left with only the father sitting in his office.

“Is there no way we can redeem him?” Lord Helios asked.

Max shook his head. “For now, being in a prison might be the only way to save his life. If this information leaks out, there will be calls for his death. Some hot-head might decide to make this punishment on his own.”

Lord Helios sat there thinking. He had three sons the two oldest were hard working citizens. Tandy had always wanted more and wanted it now. There was no way Helios’ family wasn’t going to be hurt by this.

“Of course, you realize that you are also being investigated,” Max stated.

“Why?” questioned the Lord.

“We have to have this information and the council doesn’t care who they squeeze to get it. My advice is for you and your other sons to start an investigation on your own. Put all the pressure you can on Tandy. Speed is of the essence. Somewhere out there is a plague ship. It must be stopped,” Max stated.

----------------------

“You are sending Lord Selous?” Isabel asked.

“Yes, Lord Selous runs many of the houses of pleasure on Antar. As soon as it is safe, he will remove all the women. We haven’t decided what to do with the male slaves. The freemen will be sent to the rim under the bracelet,” Max replied.

“What is he going to do with the women?” Isabel asked again.

“I am sure that Liz will have harsh words for me, but most of the women will be healed and placed in registered houses of pleasure,” Max declared.

“Speaking for Liz, are any of them able to be saved?” asked Isabel.

“I will send Maria and the professor she works with to examine them. If any can be educated or trained, they will be removed from Lord Selous’ custody,” Max answered.

-----------------------

Michael had been preparing to leave for Antar Four. Now with the need for Maria’s help and his own need to check planet security, he was delaying the trip. “Mike, we have been spending so much time on other planets and their troubles, we have allowed a cancer to grow right here at home,” Max stated.

“We better get a ship of the line to patrol Antar. If some rogue pirate picked up the plague, they are going to be thirsting for vengeance. It would take years to clear their name. No planet will allow any ship with the hint of plague to land,” Michael stated.

-------------------------

“The Stogis family will take over the farm. They will get the workers healed and import a group of Wallopits to do what Earthers can’t.” Max was explaining to Liz. “The women at the house of pleasure will be examined by Maria and the professor to see if any of them can be rescued. The rest will be sent to Lord Selous’ different houses of pleasure.

“That is what I mean, Max. They didn’t ask to be brought here. Don’t we have some obligation to care for them?” Liz asked.

“Liz, what would you have me do? Maria and the professor will look for any signs that show a person could succeed in another position. Remember, we have no welfare system. You work, you are owned by a responsible party or you have a family to take care of you. Now, before you think about it, you cannot take the responsibility for any of them and still be responsible to me. Liz, there are many hard facts in life and this is one of them,” Max explained. Max hated for this to come up. He was being pressured on all sides to make Liz his queen. She had to get past this problem for Max, in his mind, to move his plans further.

-----------------------

Liz had her own study, a place where she could administer her Amazons and where she could think about how she fit into the monarchy. Since Diego had been replaced in Kyle’s commandos, he had been spending his time writing out what he remembered of his religious life back on Earth. Liz had given Serina permission to work with him, as well as be his companion. Lila had taken Serina’s place by Liz’s side. “The king really has no choice,” Lila said.

“I guess I know. It seems so inhumane. I guess I should say un-Antarian. Humanity has nothing to do with it,” Liz mused.

“I beg your pardon, mi’lady,” Lila said. “I think humans had a lot to do with this. Not many rogue pirates are yet ready to make an attack on Earth without human help. This time, Earth sold off its lowest class. Still you must ask were they better off back on Earth than they will be on Antar? If I understand it right, the masses of equality do not give much chance for a happy life. Chance is neither good nor bad. It is neutral. I could have been given up for a favor to some old dictator and my life wouldn’t have been nearly as good as it is. Now, I am your assistant and following in your footsteps. My life is much better than it ever was at home. The king is a good man and I think you owe him to accept his decision, at least in this matter.”

That was a lot for Lila to say. Again, Liz was surprised at the intelligence the slave girl had shown. Lila said she wanted to be like Liz and she was well on the way to becoming that.
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

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Re: Apocalypse, CC, mature, ch 28, pg 16, June 16, 2014

Postby ken_r » Sun Jun 29, 2014 2:45 pm

keepsmiling7

Roswelllostcause: True

begonia9508:


Chapter 29

Liz had been informed that Isabel desired an audience with her. This was so formal, Liz wondered what it was all about. Lila showed Isabel into Liz’s study and then brought in refreshments. She discreetly closed the door so Isabel and Liz were left alone.

Isabel didn’t waste time. “Liz, we realize you have different paradigms, emotional mind sets and different definitions from us. If this wasn’t so important and immediate, we would be content to let you understand the rules of Antar at your own pace. We see fate as a neutral party. As much as we can, we try to mold our own fates, but there are always many things we cannot control. You must understand that we believe the greatest weakness of Earth was its concept of welfare. We do not believe that welfare benefits the individual receiving it and we, also, believe that it opens a line of corruption for those giving or pretending to give it. Our studies of Earth show that the average human is generous to a fault. There are many who take advantage of this generosity. Many charities have overhead rates as high as 80 percent. That means that only 20 percent goes to where it was intended.”

“But, Isabel what about those who are not able to succeed on their own?” Liz asked.

“On Earth, without welfare they would simply be left to die a horrible death,” Isabel stated. “On Earth, you still have cracks in your systems that allow some people to fall through. It is simpler on Antar. We have families who have in times past made sufficient fortunes to support themselves. They are what you call our royal families. We have workers who have saleable skills, both manual and intellectual, and we have those who are placed for one reason or the other under some person of position’s direction. That is what we have translated in your language as slaves. Within varying limits, they must do as they are told. They arrive in this position by not being part of the other two classes. Sometimes they become slaves for debt and sometime as punishment for criminal trespass.” Isabel waited for this to settle in Liz’s mind.

“I can see debt and crime being mistakes which an individual might fall into by carelessness. What about those who have done nothing wrong, yet they still find themselves as slaves?” Liz asked.

“In your mind, do you think the Tess did anything wrong to become a slave?” Isabel asked.

“No, I don’t think so,” Liz answered.

“From infancy, Tess was raised to be a slave. Her family had incurred a huge debt. The extent of the debt was always private. The warring families never knew to whom or how much it was. At adulthood, Tess was brought to the court of Zander, king of the Antarian Monarchy. She was placed on the auction block and I purchased her. Tess never understood all of it, and Max doesn’t think I did either. Tess’s family was in debt. They were in debt to Antar. A show was made of placing their daughter up for sale to pay the debt, but I always knew that we were not going to send a royal princess to any house of pleasure. What happened was that Tess was placed under the protection of the monarchy of Antar. Tess became my companion and assistant. In my youth, I meddled into affairs I shouldn’t have and I tried to make Tess a companion to my brother, then to my former lover. I finally let things go when I sent Kyle from my bedroom to that of Tess. I suddenly grew up and Tess has been better for that.” Isabel leaned back and took a drink of the refreshment Lila had brought.

“What about Maria?” Liz asked.

“Both you and Maria were impressed into the slavery of your lower education. Like little ducklings you formed lines to follow the teacher, holding hands to not get lost,” Isabel said.

“But you have to treat children like that. They don’t have the ability to not get lost or to find their way when they do get lost,” Liz interrupted

“Yes, but your government didn’t ever want you to drop hands,” Isabel continued. “Your abilities were decided for you and eventually, you were made to fail. The government always wanted you to be holding on to someone’s coattail. This is where your paths parted. You took a chance and signed a contract with a unknown party to live on a foreign planet and work as the assistant to an unknown person. You quit holding hands.

By fate, Maria was not allowed this path. She was captured and her bonds of slavery continued. Maria, even though you both believed she was a rebel, allowed herself to be a model for the art classes without question. Maria allowed herself to be singled out from her group and be sent down a long hall to give her virginity to a stranger. Like crossing the street long ago, Maria went where she was told because she saw no other choice. She had no other choice. Again, fate placed her on an auction block and fate led me to purchase her for Michael, trying one more time to interfere in someone’s life. Fate was neutral, what you both did with fate was to release your life in different directions and that is where both of you are today. Maria is the third most important woman on Antar. I look for Michael to make a startling announcement any day,” Isabel said.

“You make it sound like we are completely controlled by this fate,” Liz said.

“Not completely, there is a game on old Earth. It is called poker. Poker is a mixture of sophisticated mathematics and psychology. You are dealt a hand of usually five cards. The cards have value, both singly and collectively. You can trade these cards in for other unknown values, you can bluff their value, because you alone know what they are. You have little control on what is dealt to you, but how you use these cards is up to you. That is like dealing with fate,” Isabel explained.

“Max once said I was part of some study or experiment,” Liz stated.

“When Max said he wanted a contract companion not of Antar, the council began looking for someone who after all, would probably be the next queen. She would be part of a new blood line. You were part of that study. Remember, it was a study, not an experiment. The Observations were of how you reacted to the cards of fate. The bloodline Max, Michael and I were cloned from is growing thin. If Max found a queen, she would contribute to the generations to come. When this was decided, I was warned to lay off arranging things for Michael. Too late, I had already presented him with Maria. The council is pleased with Maria. The fact that she is working so hard on the university for Antar Four has helped Michael in his rule of that rebellious planet. This has been brought to the attention of the council,” Isabel said.

“I can’t get over the feeling that slavery is wrong. When I saw the conditions at the farm and the house of pleasure, those people were being harmed for no good reason at all,” Liz blurted out.

“There was a reason,” Isabel stated. “The reason was the fault of Max, Michael and me. We became too embroiled in the politics of Antar Four and the conditions on the rim of the monarchy. We allowed a cancer to develop within our own home. That scrap of metal, you found, is raising some big questions. It is making us rethink who were our friends and who were our foes. This might be knowledge that we need on those who we now think of as friends. Antar used to have huge populations and in those times, that farm and house of pleasure would have never got started. Now, the writing on the metal scrap is causing us to look closer at some of those who we thought were allies. Do you really think Lord Tandy was smart enough to develop those places? He spent a lot of time on Earth, but who convinced him to look at the plants, whose drugs cause so much grief? There must be someone closer to Antar who is master minding this. Max will commission a new battleship of the line or rather Maria will. She doesn’t know about it yet. It will be christened the Maria I. We are going to have to be a lot more vigilant, both at home and in the far reaches of the monarchy. Liz, you said that the conditions at the farm and the house of pleasure remind you of what you believed slavery to be. You were correct and you are correct in what you said about taking people from Earth. It has been thousands of years since Antar raided other planets for workers. Most of those who now, become slaves do so realizing that they can’t maintain life on their own. They need direction for their actions. It is frightening that our association with Earth is bringing back those olden days.”

“You said that Maria was the third most important woman on Antar. Who are the other two?” Liz asked.

“I am first,” Isabel asserted, “because I will take command of the monarchy if something happens to Max and Michael. Liz you are second, not because you are in line for rule, but you are the one to advise the king. Liz you must become queen and soon. That is why it is so important that you understand the society of the monarchy.”

Isabel left leaving a stunned Liz. Max had many times said she would be queen, but the way Isabel put it was a little heavier on her shoulders. Lila came in and saw Liz sitting looking like she had fallen off a cliff. “Liz, can I help you?” Lila asked.

“Lila, do you resent being a slave?” Liz asked.

“No, Liz, not if I can work for you,” Lila explained.

“Do you think that Kyle resents being a slave? What about the soldiers? Do you think they resent the golden bracelets?” Liz asked.

“No, Liz, I don’t. Kyle is freer, than he has ever been in his life. Kyle is a soldier and he lives for the fight. Don’t take this wrong, Kyle hates war as any sane person does, but he likes the campaign the camaraderie of the troops and the feeling that he has a necessary skill. I imagine that other soldiers feel the same or at least, similar ways. Liz, can I make a proposal to you. I have been thinking of this for a long time. My people have a genetic shift where there is a disproportionate number of girls born than boys. There have been some attempts at polygamy, but they mostly have failed. If you don’t want to rot in some uninspiring haram, there is not much else to do. Could you ask Max to approach King Theo and buy a number of young girls who might like to be trained as angels of mercy and maybe, even commandos?” Lila requested.

“Are you sure, Lila?” Liz asked.

“Yes, I am sure. It would be better to be in the service of the king of Antar than to be burdens on our families. I don’t know how many would have the gift of healing, but with early training, I am sure there would be many. You could strengthen your commandos for a time when you have a family,” Lila said.

“Lila, I will speak to Max, but I am not queen yet. Having a family would be if Max chooses me to marry him. He has talked about it, but nothing final,” Liz stuttered. The direct way Lila had spoken had shaken her especially after her talk with Isabel.

“He will, and you will be queen. I have no doubt and I have no doubt that a squad of amazons would bring you protection. Of course that squad would be best if they were my sisters of Krout’s planet.” Lila was so sure of her self in this conversation.

-----------------------

The royal family was commanded to be present. Several dignitaries from Antar Four were also commanded to present themselves. Diego and Serina were both present in white robes. “Michael and Maria will soon embark on a great adventure,” Diego spoke. “King Zander the twenty-fourth, known as Max has asked me to search for that spirit I keep talking about. I am sure that Serina and I are going to have to return to Earth to understand more. The information I seek is there and not here. Max assures me that there used to be a guiding spirit here, but wars and centuries have hidden much knowledge of it. I remember in my childhood, before the One World Order came about that there were great buildings to help us see this spirit. All I can remember for sure is an icon of death, which in someway was conquered. I don’t remember much of this, but the icon of death was a device on which a person was hung until they died. I am sure that there were other icons leading to this spirit, but sadly I don’t remember them. The simplicity of these crossed sticks a symbol of decisions along with the symbol of death may be sufficient for now. Michael do you have something to say?” Diego asked.

Michael turned to Maria. Maria was clothed in a simple white robe, similar that the one that Serina wore. “Isabel, my once lover, now my sister, will you release the gold bracelet from Maria’s arm?” Michael asked formally.

Isabel stepped forward and taking Maria’s arm, she made the bracelet fall away. “Maria, as a free woman, will you be my wife?” Michael asked.

“Maria looked up and said, “Yes, Michael, but not as a free woman. I want to belong to you always.” Maria then took the bracelet from Isabel and stretching her arm, Isabel touched the bracelet to make it whole again. Isabel passed an envelop with the papers of Maria signed over to Michael.

Diego then raised his arms. “If there is nothing more than ourselves, then our journey is pointless. I leave Michael and Maria in their own way to seek out higher help and hope their marriage strengthens the monarchy.”

By the time Michael wanted to make Maria his wife, she had decided that he was the best she would ever get. The council had designated Maria as the one to carry Michael’s genes so any dalliances he had with others, could never displace Maria. She didn’t know anything about Antarian relationships. She remembered a little from drama school back on Earth and there, men and women having affairs outside of marriage were most of the plots for the stories. If Michael decided that he needed sex from someone else, who was Maria to be angry? Maria was his wife and Maria was his slave. She couldn’t be deposed that easily. Michael was her prince and for that she was happy. Things are not perfect in an imperfect world or in this case, two very imperfect worlds. Which world would have offered her the worst? She had her best friend and Michael said soon they were going to have a child. Maria thought for several minutes, yes, she did love Michael.


In the royal yacht that brought Maria to him when he first occupied Antar Four, Michael and Maria left for their new home. Annie went along as Maria’s assistant, but she was very discrete during the voyage.

--------------------------

Becoming the queen was not as formal as the ceremony between Michael and his former slave, who he freed and then she returned to his indenture and his arms. Most of the formality had already been done by the council, when they chose Liz. Max had made his choice and it only remained for Liz to try harder to understand the social structure of Antar and most of the monarchy. As queen, when Lila brought the girls purchased from King Theo, Liz found herself the owner of over one hundred slaves! The youngest of the girls were placed in schools to develop any abilities of healing. That left almost sixty who became Amazons. Liz didn’t care what custom was, she moved her commandos to new barracks. The sexual equality act had been back on Earth. We know how well earth was doing. Liz’s girls would grow, they would age and many of them would petition Liz for permission to take on lovers. Many of those might some day have families. Now, during training, Liz was going to keep separate housing from the other commandos. The compound which had been the home for the king for centuries was becoming a training camp. Max annexed some of the surrounding country and with security fencing, he expanded the training camp considerably.

Five, now with Lila six, women were charged with training the recruits. As before the memorizing the paths at the compound became paramount. Kyle loaned some of his commandos to teach hand to hand combat and the use of weapons. Some of the women had similar powers as did the Antarians. They just needed practice and guidance. Michael sent several of his men to assist Liz with her trainees. It was to be seen if they had the same sensitivities as did the Antarians with the disrupters.

Maria and the professor, with the women from lord Tandy’s abortive venture, had found several women who were distinct enough from those of the welfare system to receive consideration. The professor thought they could be trained to other duties than that of being women of pleasure. Ten Earth women from the rescue mission joined the amazons. Maria and the professor, also, found several women who displayed other talents and they sent them to Antar Four to work with the University. A few of the men and women found themselves in the security training.

Kyle and Tess approached Isabel. She held their papers. “Isabel,” Tess started, “Kyle and I would like to be joined as partners for a family.”

Isabel had been expecting that. She held Kyle’s papers, but Max had given Kyle almost complete freedom to develop security. “Do you wish a full marriage?” Isabel asked.

“Yes, if that is possible,” Kyle nodded. “We have both been cleared genetically and Tess is of royal heritage. I don’t have any heritage, but I am a damned good fighter. We would like to add our genes to the royal gene pool. Of course, we would both continue serve our king and the clone of his sister.”

For the third time, the royal family was present at a union. Diego approached Kyle and handed him a medallion. “There were stories, though I never saw any dragons in Central America where I came from, these stories were about someone called George who slew dragons. I have thought a lot about this. I think there may be dragons in everyone’s lives. It is up to the warriors to slay these dragons and save princesses.” The medallion had something looking like what Diego thought of as a dragon and the letter from Earth that was a capital “G.”
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-


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